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This Week In Streaming: DirecTV, Disney+ On Roku, YouTube TV Add-Ons, and More

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This week was a busy week in streaming and while we covered most of these topics on their own throughout the week, here’s a one-article look back at all the big news stores from the past seven days.

DirecTV’s new strategy

DirecTV made a change to its streaming strategy by moving towards a more unified DirecTV branding. For example, and instead of actively marketing DirecTV Stream, the DirecTV website now offers shoppers a choice between Internet and Satellite versions of its service. In principle, the Internet version is a direct streaming alternative to DirecTV Stream.

Existing DirecTV Stream subscribers won’t see any changes to their service for now, and it is still possible to sign up to DirecTV Stream. However, it does look like DirecTV now wants to push forward with its two main – Internet and Satellite – options.

One of the reasons for this might be its new device. Along with the new unified service, DirecTV also announced a new DirecTV Gemini device. In reality, this isn’t that much different to the existing Gemini/Osprey box many DirecTV customers will be already familiar with.

DirecTV Gemini device new
DirecTV’s new Gemini device

However, it is a newer version and one which is designed for use with both its Internet and Satellite TV services. Arguably, this is the big difference with DirecTV Stream, which is now positioned as more of a BYOD service.

Disney Plus on Roku

Disney Plus was already available on Roku players and TVs, but those signed up to the cheapest ‘With Ads’ plan couldn’t access the service on a Roku device.

This was a similar situation to the issue Netflix had on Apple TV when it launched its ad-supported plan. A couple of weeks after Netflix and Apple rectified that situation, and Disney and Roku have now rectified theirs. As a result, anyone signed up to the Disney Plus Basic With Ads plan should now find that they have no issue signing in to their account and streaming on a Roku player or smart TV.

It is worth noting that Roku users that had previously downloaded the Disney Plus app will likely need to update the app to the latest version to unlock the newly-added support.

YouTube TV’s latest add-ons

YouTube TV offers a good amount of content for $72.99 per month. For those in need of even more content, there are add-ons. Speaking of which, YouTube TV added two more add-ons this week. Hi-YAH! offers access to action and martial arts movies and costs an additional $3.99 per month.

Hi-Yah app Fire TV
Hi-YAH! app on Fire TV

Qello Concerts is the other new add-on and unlocks access to full-length music performances, concert films, and music documentaries for $7.99 per month.

Qello Concerts
Qello Concerts on Fire TV

On a related note, we took a closer look at the various add-ons that are now available through YouTube TV and found that if you added them all to your base package, you would end up paying around $450 per month. Interestingly, nearly all of them come with a free trial which makes for a really great way to access loads of content for one month for a little over $100.

On another related note, we also noticed that YouTube is currently offering an extended free trial, making now a really good time to test the live TV service out. For example, new subscribers can currently lock in three weeks for free. Normally, YouTube TV only offers seven days to new users when signing up for the base plan.

Best of the rest streaming news

The change in strategy by DirecTV, the unlocking of Disney Plus support on Roku, and YouTube TV’s new add-ons are only some of the developments that happened in the world of streaming this week.

Elsewhere, The Roku Channel continued to build on its relationship with Warner Bros. by adding 14 linear channels. Essentially, these channels are a way to watch many of the shows that were recently pulled from HBO Max.

The Roku Channel WB
New ‘WB’ channels on The Roku Channel

A few reports also came out this week and made for interesting reading. For example, one report found that consumer spend on video streaming services recently dropped down to $69 per month. This compares to a high of around $90 back at the start of 2021. In a different report, age continues to be a deciding factor in the devices we use. Overall, however, smart TVs seem to be the most popular device across all age groups, accounting for half of all OTT TV viewing.

Last but not least, if you’re looking for a new streaming service, a few new ones launched in the past week. For example, Disability Owned is a free streaming service that provides business information, news and resources to U.S. business owners and entrepreneurs with disabilities.

A new FilmRise Faith and Inspiration service also launched this week, offering users a way to access hundreds of hours of faith-based and inspirational content for free.

For heavy metal fans, Thunderflix claims to be the world’s first on-demand video streaming platform for metalheads. A standard subscription costs $6.66 per month and there’s the option to save over 12 months by signing up to the annual plan

John Finn
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