U.S Households Signed up for 9 Million Total New Streaming Subscriptions in Q3 2020 vs. 2 Million in 2019

Streaming has benefited in 2020 from the pandemic, with three streaming services performing especially well with new subscribers over the third quarter 2020: HBO Max, Hulu and CBS All Access. Hulu more from their live TV subscription offering as more people ditch cable and satellite for streaming live TV.

Americans are streaming more video than ever before amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The average U.S. household now subscribes to 2.5 streaming services versus 2.1 a year ago, according to an estimate from analysts at UBS. Americans signed up for 9 million total new subscriptions last quarter, way up from the 2 million subscriptions added in the third quarter last year.

These 3 Streaming Services Crushed It Last Quarter

In 2020, I’ve been most impressed with Hulu. I didn’t really watch it that much before this year, but felt like I was missing something good. The Mandalorian aside, Disney+ has been underwhelming by comparison to Hulu, at least for what I want to watch.

We’re renewing Disney+ for another year, but it’s still mostly a play for our grandchildren, it’s not something we will watch very often. Again, except for The Mandalorian which is about to air episode #5 of 8. That’s three more to go and then another drought of new content until Pixar’s Soul drops on Christmas (see: Disney Diss? Rips Soul From Theaters To Be Disney+ Exclusive) and additional intended for theaters show up on Disney+.

Am also surprised to see CBS All Access on this list. They have a very small library of movies, but do have some good, mostly classic TV shows to watch. They are pretty much the only game in town to stream season four of the classic Twilight Zone. The one with the hour long episodes. They have the other four seasons also and Jordan Peele’s most recent version of The Twilight Zone.

Any big streaming channel surprises above for you?

T-Mobile TVision Launch Packages May Change Due To Possible Contract Violations

We haven’t commented on TVision (https://www.t-mobile.com/tvision), the new live TV service that launched last week yet, despite being T-Mobile customers.

Live TV, for those who know us, isn’t much of a priority in our lives. The only live TV we watch is through channels offered through existing streaming channels and sometimes local TV networks through Locast.

Alas, there appear to be rumblings afoot involving T-Mobile’s TVision launch packages. If you’re one of their new subscribers, you might want to pay a little more attention to this post. If you’re like us and don’t really care that much about live TV, then there’s nothing more to see in this post.

Sources confirmed that NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS have conveyed objections to T-Mobile similar to those raised by Zaslav, as previously reported by CNET. A source familiar with WarnerMedia said its team is in the process of looking into T-Mobile’s TVision bundles — and that the media conglom does believe there’s a case to be made that the wireless carrier is in breach of contract. Reps for those media companies, as well as AMC Networks, Fox Corp., and Disney, declined to comment. A Discovery rep declined to provide additional info beyond Zaslav’s comments.

T-Mobile Faces Having to Rejigger TVision After Programmers Object – Variety

It is a bit odd that a cell phone carrier familiar with contracts has possibly decided to ignore them. Breach of contract is expensive. Not sure what’s going to become of all this, but it sounds expensive all around, even if T-Mobile works it out. As a customer for their cell service, that worries us to some degree as bad business decisions in one department have a way of negatively impacting others.

This is what concerns us, albeit slightly, with XFinity. We all know that cable is on the downward slide with subscribers as they move over to streaming. We are hoping this doesn’t drive up the price of high speed internet. Got a sinking feeling it will.

Are you subscribed to T-Mobile TVision? Not interested? Let us know in the comments.

Netflix TV Channel Begins Testing In France on the Web Only

Some streaming channels offer a real time TV option and it seems that Netflix is now toying with having its own TV channel called Netflix Direct but it’s only available in France on the web, nowhere else.

Of course, Netflix has plenty of suggestions and algorithms to point viewers in the right direction, but this week, the company revealed that it will start testing a new feature called Direct that serves as a real-time TV channel populated with shows, movies, and more from the service. Direct is always running, whether you’re watching or not, so you can tune in and out whenever you like if you can’t decide what to watch on your own.

Netflix is finally testing the feature everyone has been demanding – BGR

We’ve become used to on demand viewing, so this doesn’t hold that much interest to us, unless Netflix uses it to debut new movies first and then put into their on demand library thereafter. Am not saying they should opt for that strategy, but it’s one strategy that some channels have used. Shudder does it, for one, HBO does it sometimes also.

Would you watch a Netflix real time TV channel or prefer on demand?

More People Are Ditching Live TV, And Not Only Cable and Satellite

Drew Barrymore’s new talk show is on Live TV

How much live TV do you watch, really?

About 25% are dropping Live TV according to the study below. It’s not just Cable and Satellite either, subscriptions to the streaming Live TV options are on the downward slide.

These numbers come from The Diffusion Group, a syndicated research company. TDG analysts had previously forecasted US households with pay-TV subscriptions to fall in the 83.5 million to 87 million range by 2020, but the actual numbers are lower than that with pay-TV households falling to 81 million at the end of 2019. And it’s not just cable subscriptions that are falling short of TDG’s projections. Live streaming options like Fubo, Sling, YouTube TV, Philo, and others are also unexpectedly dwindling. It seems like consumers are less concerned with watching TV live as it happens and leaning more toward video-on-demand options.

An Estimated 25% of Households will Drop Pay-TV This Year | Cord Cutters News

We watch very little live TV.

Why we don’t watch more is a more lengthy question and it probably boils down to the amount of commercial breaks. There’s no reason to watch something you can’t fast forward. Yes, you can DVR live TV and we were into that for awhile with TiVo (loved the Tivo many years ago), but if the point is to watch something live, well, fast forward isn’t an option.

Kara watches almost zero and I watch the Seahawks play football on Sunday sometimes, streaming through Locast.org and sometimes other Sunday NFL games. I haven’t watched a professional baseball or basketball game in quite some time. I’ll watch some boxing matches live. Last year, I paid for the boxing match between Conor Mcgregor and Floyd Mayweather. I’m also likely to pay for and watch Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. fight (see: Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. exhibition fight needs more time — delayed until November 28).

Beyond watching live sports, I’m also interested in some news programs and election coverage every four years. Since we’re in the election cycle, I’ll be tuning in to live TV a little more over the next 30 days or so. After that, live TV will be reserved for special events here and there.

Maybe the Oscars in 2021, particularly because it’s going to be more than interesting pondering what the Academy will vote for. Something tells me they will delay that until 2022 and incorporate 2020 and 2021 films. There just haven’t been enough award-winning type films released so far this year. Given we’ve just entered the main awards season, but the selection is thin right now and doesn’t appear to be improving much.

Have pretty much 0% interest in watching movies on Live TV. There are a few TV shows that come along that only air live. Recently, watched Drew Barrymore’s new talk show (see: The Drew Barrymore Show promises no “mundane questions” that launched 9/14 – Will it be on CBS All Access?), and while it was pleasant, it wasn’t really my thing.

Am curious what type of live TV you currently watch? How much of your overall entertainment is Live TV vs. streaming vs. movie theaters? Our viewing breakdown is something like this:

85% streaming, 10% movie theaters, 5% live TV. What does it look like for you?

LIMITED OFFER: Google Offering “Free” Chromecast + TV to New YouTubeTV Subscribers

A new Chromecast just launched from Google officially on September 30. They are going after Roku competitively by including a remote and a menu a la Android TV. The device offers 4K and is priced at $49.99 USD.

A limited promotion is being offered for those interested in paying for at least one month of YouTubeTV ($64.99 USD).

Google is giving away a free Chromecast with Google TV device to everyone that signs up for YouTube TV before the end of the year. As the terms of the deal explain, you need to be a first-time subscriber to the streaming TV service to take advantage of the offer, and at least one monthly payment has to be processed between October 15th and December 31st, 2020. This offer is only available to US residents.

Google is giving away free Chromecasts – here’s how you can get one – BGR

We haven’t tried YouTubeTV but with the election coverage, NFL sports in action and the end nearing of the baseball season, this is a good time to have a month of live TV. We’re probably going to go in on this deal.

On Thursday we went around to a few local stores (Walmart, Best Buy, Target) and nobody had the new Chromecast + TV in stock yet. We already own the Chromecast Ultra (see: Tired of Waiting For Roku, 7+ Year Customer Buys Chromecast Ultra to Stream HBO Max to TV) but the downside to that is having to use your phone. Kara has never liked it and I’ve had a hard time getting used to the phone as a remote. It’s a good idea in theory, but it’s just not as handy as having a remote and using a Roku-style menu on the TV.

Glad to see this new version of Chromecast. Are you interested? Happy with Roku? Or using something else?