Six months into 2015 it’s evident that this has been a pivotal year for consumers looking to save money and cut the cord with cable and satellite TV. These are a few of the top stories related to cord cutting and streaming media services which are affecting cord cutters this year.
January 2015 – Sling TV Launches to Rave Reviews at CES 2015
At the 2015 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Dish Network introduced Sling TV, and cord cutters rejoiced that they could now get ESPN and ESPN2 sports channels and other cable channels for twenty bucks a month.
The lack of over air TV sports channels had been a sore spot for many consumers who when it came time to cut the cord just couldn’t do it because they missed quick access to sport-only programming. Sling TV filled the gap in a big way, and offered a reasonably priced base channel package, with low cost add-on channel packages available.
Consumer demand for Sling TV was extraordinary after the CES awards announcement, and within a very short time Sling added even more channels to their basic offering along with apps for multiple platforms to entice more users.
February 2015 – JustWatch Streaming Search Engine for Cord Cutters Launches
JustWatch is a unique search engine that allows users to search for streaming content currently available from multiple streaming services. Particularly helpful to cord cutters looking for a guide to what’s on, the search engine is currently available to users wishing to see streaming media options in the United States, Germany, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.
JustWatch’s user interface is easy to understand and use. You can search JustWatch by clicking on New, Popular or by a watchlist you create yourself. Using the Search box as with traditional search engines is always an option, or you can simply scroll through the cover art for movie and TV offerings until you find one you like. When you click on the program you can see what service carries it, and whether or not there are any options to buy or rent from services like iTunes or Vudu.
March 2015 – HBO Now Available On Apple TV
Game of Thrones fans who are cord cutters rejoiced when the announcement was made that HBO Now would make HBO programming available for a low monthly fee to users without a cable TV subscription. But there was a catch. To enjoy HBO Now service, users would need an Apple TV device. Apple conveniently lowered the price of the device at the time of the announcement, but this was disappointing to many cord cutters who don’t own an Apple TV and didn’t want to spend the money to buy one just to watch HBO.
Since the initial announcement Apple has expanded the use of the HBO Now app to other devices including the iPhone, iPad, iMac and Macbook computers. Seeking to increase subscription sign-ups, HBO has indicated plans to launch apps for use with Android devices and Chromecast too.
A free trial of HBO Now is available, with the option to cancel before the end of the free trial or pay the $14.99 a month service fee.
Check out all the FAQ’s here, to decide if this service is for you.
April 2015 – Comcast Backs Out of Time Warner Merger
If it had gone through, a potential monopoly on internet service could have been built leaving all of us who use streaming media at the mercy of a business that would undoubtedly choose to increase prices without having to provide better service to its customers.
May 2015 – Amazon and Netflix Seek to Expand Their Streaming Globally
You heard it here first: “Now is the time to buy Netflix stock.” No, I’m not a stockbroker, but anyone can see that Netflix is poised to enrich the lives of cord cutters and millennials all over the globe in the coming year!
With its ever-expanding catalog of original programming and cord cutters signing up in droves, Netflix is doing very well and looking to expand its services to users in other countries. Most recently China is being considered for Netflix expansion, as well as Japan by the fall of this year with plans for up to 200 countries by the end of 2016.
Meanwhile in the skies above, Amazon has cut a deal with JetBlue to provide free Amazon Instant Video streaming to Prime members. No longer do you have to be ‘in country’ to enjoy your Prime membership when you are traveling on JetBlue’s jets, nor do you have to pay a wireless fee while on the plane.
June 2015 – Showtime’s Streaming Service Slated for July
How exciting! Yet another premium television channel available via streaming media.
Apple TV, Playstation Vue, and Roku users are likely to snatch up the new Showtime streaming service debuting in July for just $10.99 a month. In direct competition with HBO Now service, Showtime’s less expensive monthly fees and availability of the app on Roku devices definitely increase the likelihood of a successful launch into the standalone streaming service arena.
Andrea Polk hails from Oregon and is a wife, mother, writer, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer, and more. She’s also the author of the Simple Guide to Over-the-Air Free TV and the Simple Guide to Sling TV as well as the avid deal-seeker behind SavvySleuth.com, where she scours the web for the best online deals.