The future of streaming (The Daily Charge, 8/1/2019)
Today on the Daily Charge, from Lowcast to Netflix and all the a la cartes in between, we're talking the future of streaming.
Good morning and welcome to CNet's Daily Charge.
It's Thursday All his first, I'm Iyaz Akhtar.
I'm Johnny Salzman.
Let's take a look at today's headlines.
Google is testing something called Google Play pass.
According to a new report from Android police, it's kind of like a Netflix for premium apps.
It appears every cost around five bucks per month.
From the screenshots play pass would give a user quote all play no interruptions, access hundreds of premium apps and games with no ads or in app purchases.
Joan, do you think this kind of pass make sense?
It makes sense.
You know, the devil's in the details with these sort of things.
It's a curated selection of apps and services.
So the most important thing to anyone who wants to use it is, what do you actually get?
We don't know that right now.
The other element to it is, $5 for what they say is hundreds of apps?
Somebody's gonna be losing money.
It's great for consumers if you get access to all those things.
And it includes stuff that you want.
But the total value of that has to be well beyond $5.
Someone's gonna be losing money.
I don't know if it's Google.
I don't know if it's their app partners.
But someone is.
I can't think of any apps that we would want to be a part of this.
Like why would you want to be part of this?
And why would I as a user want this at this point?
The ones that are popular enough.
For people to be attracted to this are the ones that are gonna say no way unless you're paying me a lot of money.
I think for games though it'd be really good to get kids off their parents back like you know in app purchases perfect.
The major broadcast networks assuming a company called locast.
Now locast is a nonprofit that allows users to stream over their broadcasts.
Broadcasters are claiming this is Aereo two point O now Aereo sold access to over the air broadcast by honor a micro antenna then streaming it and low caste lawyer told cnet's you particularly as is providing a public service by resistors free over the air broadcasts.
John, how do you think this going to shake out?
We saw what happened with Aereo.
And that was it all went to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court said area was illegal and it died.
But there's a difference here.
As you said.
Aereo had a technological loophole to copyright law.
They had these individual mini antennas For each subscriber and then everything was done in one place and it was just kind of beamed out over the Internet to the subscribers.
Low Caste, is there's already an exemption for what Low Caste is in theory doing.
The copyright laws always allowed people that are nonprofits like a university to have one antenna and then Send that signal to the people in say dorm rooms so they don't have to have antennas all over the place.
Lucas says they're providing the same sort of public service but just providing it over the internet in the digital age.
We'll see if courts actually a great.
So that's one of the big hooks.
I believe ATNT sort of has it has a hand in this.
I think they've offered money to this.
This nonprofit so they can somehow get around any issues when it comes to dish not having broadcast.
It's just director.
He's our director.
He's at my bad when it comes to direct TV not having these broadcasts over the air networks that I think makes it a little fishy.
Do you think that's gonna have an impact on?
Well, that's the argument that broadcasters are making.
They're making the argument that at&t a TV distributor has made a half a million dollar donation to low caste and it's also recommended to people that.
Can't get CBS on its service right now because they're in a carriage negotiation standoff.
Can't have CBS for now they're hey, try locast you can get for free.
Disclosure, CNET is owned by CBS.
What it means is the broadcaster is saying, hey, our distributors are using locast as a tool.
It's not just a nonprofit, it's being used for commercial purposes now.
Let's get some more streaming.
And finally today's main story let's talk about the streaming landscape.
We've got our old players funny to say, we've got Netflix Hulu and amazon prime, we've got newer players like Facebook watch and the premium version of YouTube, and we've got our upcoming services from Apple, Disney and AT&Twith HBO Max.
Press up down, do you think that the market and consumers can like withstand all of these different services?
If the idea is that consumers would subscribe to every single one, then, no, that's not gonna happen already.
We're seeing people having what's called subscription fatigue where they only have apply and subscribe to two to Four subscription video services at a time.
What we will see is because it's so easy to pop in and out of these services, as new content becomes available that you really like, then you'll subscribe to one for a couple of months, or one month, and pop out and choose the other.
We'll see a lot of that kind of subscription hopping as things go forward.
Yeah, it seems to happen with Game of Thrones in particular, people will join HBO just for HBO now, just for that, and they'll leave right afterwards, and I would do that in my household.
Listen to that kind of stuff.
Do you think that these big programs, you have like The Which are coming to Netflix ,obviously Stranger Things is already there, you've got all the Disney Marvel stuff that's coming on Disney Plus.
Do you think that these big programs will grab subscribers long term, or do you think that this hopping theme will just keep going?
So it depends on the broader catalog, Netflix is
A great example in Disney Plus is an example, maybe less so, where not only do they have these big headline things like a Star Wars original, Marvel original, all the originals that you know throughout that.
But they also have just a ton of other that maybe you'll get hooked while you're in that month that you only wanna watch that one thing.
But the other ones HBO Max's it's really hard to understand what these things that don't have this gigantic a cloud catalog and don't haven't, haven't kind of elucidated what their original strategy is how they're really gonna be able to pull people in.
What do you think about this potential Disney bundling of ESPN plus and Disney plus and Hulu's since they don't have to [INAUDIBLE] that.
Do you think one you get them an advantage versus something like a Netflix versus Amazon prime or the others?
Well, Disney has clearly indicated that they're gonna use pricing as a way to get people in.
They're pricing Disney Plus at $7 a month.
Which is half the price of Netflix.
And lower than any thing else that offers a kind of catalogue the Disney Plus is promissing.
So they've already indicated that they're gonna bundle.
They're setting Disney's Plus's pricing very low.
And so for sure, I mean, we don't know what those bundles are gonna be priced at yet.
But there's no harm at all for consumers or for Disney, other than losing money, to say hey, you could get your Disney Plus, your Hulu, Andrew ESPN for one low, low, low price.
Let's say you subscribe to like five or six of these things.
How do you think that consumers are actually going to be able to find the show they want to watch on the device that they have?
Yeah, that's a big problem.
The fact that everything is dis aggregated, it's making things difficult for consumers to find what they want and to know where to go for that thing.
Which kinda brings us back to cable, people hate cable providers, they're one of the most vilified industries.
But cable does provide a whole bunch of stuff of a kind of low price, considering how much you get.
It feels high because they're always ratcheting up that bill.
But you do get a ton of content.
In one place where you don't have to shop around, hop around to find what you need.
With cable, believe it or not.
This has all been a very long term plan to get everybody back to cable.
I don't think that's [UNKNOWN].
You wanted a fire hose?
Here's a fire hose.
It is a fire hose.
Here's all this stuff.
You'll watch HGTV and like it.
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For The Daily Charge, I'm Maya Zachary.
I'm Joanie Solsan.
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