Netflix and Amazon are the leaders in the SVOD industry, but the game could change soon as Hulu is reportedly planning a new service that could be a potential threat not only to these two SVODs but traditional pay-TV providers as well.
Unlike Netflix, Hulu may offer live TV
Citing unnamed sources, The Wall Street Journal reports that Hulu is working on a new subscription service in which feeds of both broadcast and cable programs will be included. The new service could debut in the first quarter of 2017 and cost $40 a month, the report says.
Also the service will reportedly include channels such as ABC, the Disney Channel and ESPN, along with Fox’s channels such as Fox News and FX. The service might offer cloud-based digital recording and an archive of on-demand shows as well, the report says.
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Hulu’s new service could also offer live sports, a lucrative segment of the traditional cable package. However, Netflix has no interest in live TV.
During the recent earnings call, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said, “You should think about our brand proposition as very much about on demand, and other people doing live, I think it’s great. It’s about the further expansion of internet television to include live. We don’t have to do everything to be part of that expansion,” the executive said.
Hulu will likely discuss the service at a presentation in New York this week where it will share the service’s upcoming slate of original programming and licensed series from other programmers. Similar to Netflix, Hulu has been spending more money on its own shows lately.
Online viewers in focus
Such a move from Hulu follows a growing trend in which traditional media conglomerates and pay-TV providers are seeking ways to attract viewers who are inclined to get their entertainment online. Both Dish Network and Sony’s PlayStation are offering streaming bundles which include cable channels such as TBS, CNN and ESPN.
Hulu is jointly owned by Walt Disney, Comcast‘s NBCUniversal and 21st Century Fox. All of them offer many of their popular shows like Empire, Scandal and others on the platform. In February, Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger said the company was exploring new platform providers for Disney’s ESPN. This was in response to the growing concern about cord-cutters.
Major entertainment names will be reporting quarterly results this week, and therefore, investors could expect SVOD entertainment and the performance of over-the-top-services such as HBO Now and CBS All-Access to be at the center of all discussions.