2017 is going to be a bloodbath for live TV streaming services, which are looking to compete with traditional cable packages and snag people who have slipped out of the pay TV ecosystem.
The idea is that you get a TV package similar to what you would get on cable or satellite, but it’s delivered over the internet to your TV, phone, laptop, and so on — without any legacy equipment.
With the release of AT&T’s DirecTV Now, which starts at $35 per month, the industry now has three major players (the other two being Dish’s Sling TV and Sony’s Vue). But it’s about to get a lot more crowded in 2017.
At a recent Recode conference, Turner CEO John Martin talked about how much the market was heating up, and seemed to confirm Amazon is working on its own streaming TV service, something that’s been rumoured for the last year.
“You’re starting to see more ambitions from these new virtual folks coming in,” Martin said. “You’ve got Sling, Sony Vue, Hulu’s made announcements [that it’s planning to launch a live TV component in early 2017]. We’re probably talking to almost a half a dozen other players.”
“Amazon?” Recode’s Peter Kafka asked.
“One of them,” Martin responded.
Amazon has long been rumoured to be working on its own streaming TV service, and a recent report from The Wall Street Journal said it is exploring a live sports package. Martin’s comment seems to confirm that it’s at least in negotiations with Turner about a TV package.
And Amazon isn’t the only tech company looking to break into the streaming TV market. Earlier this month, CBS CEO Les Moonves all but confirmed reports that CBS had signed a deal with YouTube, which is creating its own cable competitor called “Unplugged.”
If those “almost half dozen” streaming TV packages come to fruition, from Amazon to YouTube to Hulu, Martin thinks it will be good for the industry.
He cited two basic reasons:
- They will promote faster innovation, which will help make the customer experience better.
- There are too many bad networks in the US, and some of them need to die. This could help push that along (he doesn’t think any of Turner’s networks are one of them).
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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