Perhaps by the second quarter of 2018, CNN plans to launch tiered subscription offerings for its digital news business, The Wall Street Journal reports. While prices have yet to be ironed out, “A proposed premium offering will give subscribers access to special content on topic-specific verticals such as CNN Money and CNN Politics,” it writes. “A second option will provide additional, though less specialized, content across all of CNN’s sites.”
Verizon is reportedly delaying the launch of its new online TV service until the spring of 2018 at the earliest. Already, the launch of the service has been delayed at least twice, “as the telecommunications giant grapples with how to compete in the media world,” Bloomberg reports, citing sources. “While Verizon has shared its plans with TV networks, the timing of the web-based, live TV service’s introduction remains tentative.”
Comcast is rolling out Xfinity Instant TV, which Variety calls “a stripped-down bundle of broadband-delivered channels.” Starting a $18 per month, the service is now available in select areas. Comcast expects “to have it rolled out across its national footprint within the next two weeks,” according to Variety.
Days ahead of its official on-air premiere, Fox has decided to stream its new comedy series “Ghosted” on Twitter. Explaining the move, Fox TV executive Shannon Ryan tells Variety: “With so much competition out there, it’s more important than ever to create innovative ways to promote our shows and connect directly to our viewers.” Additionally, the “partnership with Twitter allows us to tailor each initiative for every show.”
Tom Calderone, Spotify’s head of original video and podcasts, is out “after the music-streaming company’s initial round of programs failed to catch on with audiences,” Bloomberg reports. Going forward, “Spotify will focus its video efforts around Rap Caviar, the service’s most popular playlist, Rock This and other features.” Yet, “with the move, Spotify is narrowing its video ambitions.”
Following a deal with other networks, Hulu just entered into a distribution deal with The CW Network. Per the pact, Hulu can now offer The CW’s shows to subscribers of its newer Live TV service, TechCrunch reports.“The deal is notable because the addition means Hulu now has in place agreements with all five of the major U.S. broadcasters, having previously made deals with NBC, FOX, ABC and CBS itself.”
Adding a new service to an old platform, Xbox 360 users can now access Hulu’s Live TV live-streaming television offering, SlashGear reports. “The app’s arrival comes alongside news that Hulu will soon unify its two iOS apps into a single offering that includes the Live TV platform,” it notes. “The Hulu Live TV service is still in beta, though it is available for anyone to sign up.”
Among all connected TV devices, Roku is currently outperforming Chromecast, Fire TV and Apple TV. eMarketer “estimates that 38.9 million U.S. users will use a Roku device at least once per month in 2017, up 19.3 percent from last year,” TechCrunch writes. “This would lead to Roku capturing 23.1 percent of all connected TV users, in terms of market share.”
HBO is the latest victim of a cyber attack, which apparently led to the premature release of an upcoming episode of "Ballers" and "Room 104." “There is also written material that’s allegedly from next week’s fourth episode of "Game of Thrones,” EW.com reports. “It’s not clear if the hackers actually have what would be the crown jewel target for an HBO cyber breach -- upcoming episodes of the company’s biggest hit, 'Game of Thrones.'”
Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, who played siblings in "Friends" in 2000 are teaming again for a new TV show. The so-far untitled series is about the New York media scene and TV morning shows. The development is being pushed by former HBO head of drama Michael Ellenberg and his newly launched film and TV production company Media Res.