APPS + PLATFORMS
Roku launched its IPO only last week, so now seems like a good time to start rolling out new products. The streaming device-maker introduced its new line of hardware, which includes five new or updated devices. The company’s Roku Express devices – budget-focused streaming sticks that first launched last year -now have chips that are five times more powerful than the 2016 versions, the company says. The Roku Express will sell for $30. The Roku Express Plus, which includes plugs for older TVs without HDMI ports, will sell exclusively at Walmart for price of $40. Roku also gave its Streaming Stick a faster processor, and the device will also come equipped with a voice-enabled remote control. The Streaming Device also includes volume buttons for the first time, and a button that lets users turn a TV on and off. The updated Streaming Stick will cost $50. In addition, Roku is introducing the new Streaming Stick Plus, which can accommodate 4K and HDR video. Finally, Roku is launching the new Roku Ultra streaming box, which also features HDR and 4K streaming. Unlike the other devices mentioned, the Roku Ultra also includes an Ethernet port and an SD card slot. It’ll cost $100. The new devices will co on sale October 8.
Twitch is dramatically upping its merchandising efforts. The Amazon-owned live-streaming platform has launched an official online store offering a variety of Twitch-branded products, ranging from clothing to pillows. The company also says it plans to unveil unique, themed items, including merchandise designed for this month’s TwitchCon 2017 convention.
LET’S MAKE A DEAL
Content distributor Entertainment One (AKA eOne) has partnered with Wattpad, an online community where users post written work such as stories and fan fiction. Under the deal, eOne will source fan fiction from Wattpad, with the goal of developing stories into original TV, film, and virtual reality content. Wattpad will curate the material it deems most promising.
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Microsoft announced that it’s shutting down its Groove Music streaming service at the end of December. Instead of subscriptions, Microsoft will start selling individual music downloads. On the subscription front, Microsoft has formed something of a partnership with Spotify: The company is advising existing subscribers to transfer its libraries and playlists to the rival service. Spotify will also grant Groove customers sixty days to try its Premium service for free.
Netflix isn’t the only platform for binge-viewers, and Hulu wants you to know it. The SVOD service revealed that 60% of its viewers watch multiple episodes of a series in one viewing session. About 32% watch week by week. Meanwhile, roughly 8% of viewers will binge an entire season or series within a single day. In addition, Hulu said that about 66% of viewing for each new episode occurs within the first three days of availability.
The ListenFirst Television Interest (TVI) Rating (TM) is a standardized measurement of the most buzzed-about TV programs on linear TV and streaming services. A complement to ListenFirst’s other syndicated data products (such as the ListenFirst Digital Audience Rating – TV), the metrics included in the rating capture organic actions that are largely unaffected by paid media. Programs that surface on the TVI leaderboards are the most hashtagged on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Tumblr, as well as most searched for on Wikipedia (used as a proxy for organic search volume).
All Series (9/25/17 – 10/1/17)
Source: ListenFirst. The TVI Rating aggregates metrics that measure organically generated activity by fans of the TV show. The metric includes total volume of official hashtag mentions on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Tumblr, along with Wikipedia page views (as a proxy for organic search volume) for a show as a percentage of the total volume of the same activities for all shows.
Time Inc. has named Julie Alvin as Senior Digital Director, Lifestyle. Alvin joins the company from Bustle, where she served as Executive Editor and Director of Brand Initiatives. In the new role, Alvin will oversee digital operations and content for the brands Real Simple, InStyle, HelloGiggles, and Southern Living. Alvin officially starts Time Inc. on October 16. She’ll report to Chief Content Officer Alan Murray.
Mad Men’s Jon Hamm just signed on to play the archangel Gabriel in Good Omens, an upcoming fantasy series from Amazon and the BBC. Which fantasy writer wrote the novel that the series is based on? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
Our Last Trivia Question: What longtime documentary filmmaker directed the Netflix documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? Answer: Liz Garbus. Kudos to Andrew Bellamy-Producers Guild of America/NY, Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/NY, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, and Lorrie Shilling/CA