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This is the first in BIA/Kelsey’s new Media Bytes series. On a periodic basis, BIA/Kelsey associate Mitch Oscar drills down and draws meaning from new products, events and corporate moves in the digital media world. An excerpt is below and the full report can be viewed or downloaded (free) here

HBO Now, CBS All Access and Other TV Network Standalones

by Mitch Oscar

Since the fall of 2014, press coverage of TV network standalone subscription video streaming services has fueled the imagination of the media community.

For the first time, consumers have the opportunity to subscribe directly to individual TV Network channels without maintaining a cable, satellite or telco pay TV platform subscription.

As recently as early March, NBC announced a planned launch of a comedy focused subscription online video service. Concurrently, premium channel HBO introduced HBO Now, a service that will not require a traditional TV subscription.

Within days of these pronouncements, CBS chief Les Moonves whispered plans to launch a standalone Showtime premium streaming service and Sony promised to roll out its new over the top service, PlayStation Vue, by year’s end.

The snapshot is a succinct exploration of this burgeoning standalone TV network streaming distribution model and the possible ramifications for the television ecosystem i.e., advertising, over-the-top streaming video services deployment, TV viewing measurement and challenges for multichannel video platform distributors (MVPDs).


— Standalone ad supported TV networks will proliferate in the near future.

— Viewing measurement and reportage will be critical to the standalone model’s success as well as other platforms, whether over the top platforms, streaming video services or TV Everyone apps.

— Cannibalization of viewership through different platforms concurrently broadcasting the same programming is inevitable.

— Creative windowing of content will be key to maximizing revenue.

— Greater competition for talent and creative content will augment the cost of doing business.

— Recent federal regulation supporting net neutrality and OTT access to broadcast content (TV station and network) will ensure the deployment of more streaming video services.

— MVPDs face the greatest challenges to maintain their current subscriber base and launch successful tangential services.

View the full report (free)


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