If you followed this year’s CES, you probably heard about the streaming wars. Its presence was inescapable. While there were still plenty of new gadgets and Smart TVs showcased on the show floor, it was the streaming news that captured everyone’s attention. A number of the industry’s biggest players showed to CES to share product and strategy announcements through keynotes, panels, and press interviews. The biggest splash at the show came from Quibi, who used CES as their own personal ‘coming out party,’ differentiating themselves from the pack through a number of press interviews and even a keynote Wednesday morning.
We know how overwhelming CES can be, so we kept track of the biggest streaming TV news to come out of last week and made it a little easier to take in.
Quibi, the mobile-first streaming service launching in April, was out in full force during CES. Its main goal was to showcase their incredibly unique Turnstyle video technology, and to reinforce the narrative that it is so massively different than the other streaming services, it doesn’t even consider them competitors. Quibi’s founder, Jeffrey Katzenberg, said as much to the Verge during a CES interview.
Quibi has yet to showcase any true UI mockups of the service, but the company did showcase how Turnstyle video technology will work. Turnstyle will allow for multiple perspectives during a show by turning your phone horizontal or vertical (right).
In other Quibi news:
- Quibi plans to release three hours of new content every weekday starting on launch.
- Quibi’s services will roll out more than 175 original shows and 8,500 episodes of it’s “quick bites” within its first year.
- A basic Quibi subscription will cost $4.99 per month, and an ad-free subscription will cost $7.99 per month.
- Quibi has already met its first year advertising goal of $150 million.
- Content will come in 3 tiers:
- Lighthouse – star-studded, high-tier content; $125,000 per minute.
- Quick bites – mid-tier content; $20,000 – $50,000 per minute.
- Daily essentials – the news focused “secret sauce”; $5,000 – $10,000 per minute.
If you missed Quibi’s first trailer, shown during its keynote, you can view it here.
NBCUniversal announced One Platform. Previously comprised of separate tools, One Platform is a new tool which will help advertisers buy ads and measure impact across digital and linear TV. The platform includes the ability to purchase ads on their streaming service, Peacock, set to debut in April of this year.
While NBCUniversal had a star studded keynote panel, there was very little talk of the actual streaming service as the panel focused more on the future of NBCUniversal. Details of the streaming service are expected to be released later this week during NBCUniversal investor day.
WarnerMedia executives Jeremy Legg and Andy Forssell participated in a CES panel to provide some new details on HBO Max. The two chatted content, strategy, and UI with Axios’ Sara Fischer, and gave some early indication of what the HBO Max interface might look like. According to Legg, there has been a tremendous focus on the HBO Max UI to eliminate what he called the “endless scroll” and make the interface less grid-like. Notably, Legg called the interface “swipey”.
In a separate exclusive interview with Axios, Xander, AT&T’s advertising division, confirmed plans to further integrate its advertising and data operations with WarnerMedia’s advertising and data operations later this year.
Debuting its new logo, Pluto TV had a presence in the “C-Space,” an area reserved for media and advertising companies. The AVOD platform, which was recently acquired by Viacom, said it had its best month ever in September 2019 with over 3,500 brands advertising on the service. Pluto TV hopes to continue that growth in 2020.
TiVo released a new piece of hardware, TiVo Stream 4k, designed to compete with Fire TV, Chromecast, and Roku. The device includes access to TiVo Plus, TiVo’s free streaming content network, but does not include any traditional DVR or access to over-the-air television unless the owner has a Sling TV subscription. The device costs $49.99 and will go on sale in April.
At CES, TiVo also stated that its previously announced Roku and Apple TV apps are ‘on hold.’ The apps, announced at CES 2019, allowed users to access their TiVo DVRs on other TVs throughout the home. While the company said the apps have not been definitively cancelled, the Apple TV and Roku apps in particular are “in limbo.”
The Apple TV app will hit LG’s webOS televisions later this year.
Dabby, a smart streaming device which previously received funding on Kickstarter, debuted at CES this year. The streaming device aims to end app switching between services with its advanced search function. Among the device’s unique features, perhaps the most interesting is the ability to watch a show or movie with someone else in another location via a video call to simulate a co-viewing experience.
The app is currently listed for sale on their website for $399.
Last but not least was Conviva’s presence at CES.
Our team hosted dozens of meetings with customers, prospects, partners, and press all week long at our suite at the Nobu Hotel. We want to thank everyone who left the CES show floor to meet with us, and those who attended our invite-only Nobu sushi event. We consider it an honor to discuss the future of this fast-paced industry with so many remarkable minds. We look forward to seeing the progress over the next year and catching up at CES 2021.