With another week done, it‘s time to look back at some of the streaming announcements and developments that caught our eye in the first week of May. In particular, some new channels that are on their way to Hulu Live TV, a new Fox Local app that has now launched, and new Fire TV Channels that you can now check out on your Fire TV player or smart TV.
New channels coming to Hulu Live TV
Hulu Live TV subscribers may have missed that they are getting some new channels. To be clear, these channels haven’t been added yet, but they are confirmed to be coming and will be added to the base plan at no additional cost.
The first one to arrive will be Magnolia Network and this will then be followed by local PBS and PBS Kids later in the year. Hulu already offers access to more than 85 live TV channels, so these further add value to a subscription.
Earlier in the week, Nexstar confirmed that it had agreed a new multi-year deal with Hulu. The agreement covers a number of local television stations, including MyNetworkTV affiliates, as well as the continued carriage of NewsNation.
New Fox Local app
This week also saw the arrival of a new Fox Local app on Apple TV, Fire TV, and Google TV devices. The benefit of this app is that it allows you to watch local live news and weather without the need for a live TV plan or even a subscription.
The bad news, however, is that the app is currently only available in Atlanta, Detroit and Washington DC. That said, the plan is for it to roll out in more locations over the coming months.
For those that do like to take advantage of free content, Sling also added 12 more free linear channels to its Freestream service, taking the overall number of free channels up to 335. That’s a lot of free channels to hop between.
Amazon launches Fire TV Channels
Another interesting development this week was the launch of Fire TV Channels. These channels are available on Fire TV devices, are free, and cover various genres, topics and trends. Notably, Amazon is offering both long and short-form channels so it is possible to watch channels that are dedicated to short videos if that’s what you like.
It is also worth noting that Amazon’s plan is to launch even more Fire TV Channels in the future. So many, in fact, that it also plans to launch a dedicated service to house them all. The details on this service are largely non-existent at the moment, but this might be one to watch out for later in the year.
In related news, Amazon also confirmed that its free Freevee streaming service is going to get a large injection of Amazon Originals later this year. These titles usually require a Prime Video subscription so this will be a good way for Freevee users to watch them without having to pay for Prime or a standalone Prime Video sub.
The latest subscriber numbers
April and May are usually when we start getting details on the state of streaming services at the end of the first quarter of the year, and this week was no different.
Paramount Global released its latest quarterly report confirming that Paramount Plus ended the first quarter with more than 60 million subscribers while Pluto TV ended Q1 with more than 80 million monthly active users. Both numbers were up on their respective previous quarters and years.
Warner Bros. Discovery also released its quarterly results confirming that the company had a total of 97.6 million direct-to-consumer subscribers at the end of the first quarter. For reference, this number includes subscribers to both HBO Max and Discovery Plus, and is in relation to the total number worldwide.
Fubo also released its latest results, confirming that the live TV streaming service was catering to more than 1.6 million subscribers at the end of the first quarter of 2022. Compared to the other live TV services, Fubo still trails behind Sling TV, Hulu Live TV, and YouTube TV.
Other bits and pieces
There were also some interesting announcements in relation to local channels. Specifically, eight CBS affiliates will cut ties with The CW in September. Also, the Vegas Golden Knights agreed a deal with Scripps Sports that not only covers local broadcast rights, but also an unnamed streaming solution.
If you are in the market for a new smart TV then it might be worth checking out the latest Sony Bravia TVs to become available. Alternatively, Verizon customers might be able to lock in a free year of Netflix when purchasing an annual subscription for another service.
Lastly, if you are looking for a live TV plan, Fubo is currently running an interesting promotion where you can get up to eight premium sports channels for free when signing up to the Pro plan and opting to pay quarterly instead of monthly.