Hulu has just announced a new partnership that'll add A&E's family of channels to its forthcoming live TV streaming service set to launch later this spring. The list includes A&E, History, Lifetime, LMN, FYI, and Viceland.
Hulu Adds A&E Networks To Its Live TV Service
The additions, however, come with a few tradeoffs: including the lack of Viacom channels on the service. Viacom backing away from a Hulu deal renders the company bereft of any content from Comedy Central, or Nickelodeon — two big channels with a diverse set of audiences that could help Hulu's streaming service earn some stride.
That report comes from Bloomberg, which adds that A&E and Viacom are trying to carve a space in the online TV platform to offset subscriber loss as more individuals opt to watch content from online streaming services instead of paying a premium fee for cable.
The History Channel, for instance, has lost 8 million subscribers since the beginning of 2013, while Comedy Central has lost nearly 9 million, as per Bloomberg's report, citing Nielsen data and Bloomberg Intelligence.
The new deal with A&E Networks follows similar partnerships Hulu has announced in the past, including one it made with CBS, 21st Century Fox, and Disney, which collectively add 40 channels to its live TV streaming service, if also accounting broadcast networks.
"As we begin to finalize our new live TV service, we're pulling together the most valuable, well-rounded package of channels available for under $40," said Mike Hopkins, Hulu's CEO, speaking about the A&E deal. Hopkins states that Hulu knows the A&E brand, that of award-winning content, is important to its viewers.
A&E Networks is home to a handful of popular TV shows such as Duck Dynasty, Hoarders, Bates Motel, and a handful of others, including Project Runway on Lifetime, and Unreal, among many, as noted by TechCrunch.
Viacom backing away from a live TV streaming service isn't new. The network has also been pulled from Sony's PlayStation Vue service in November, and YouTube TV similarly just launched sans Viacom in tow.
The State Of Cable In An Era Of Streaming Services
At present, most people shell out cash for online streaming services instead of cable, seeing as there's a treasure trove of content already available for something as fairly inexpensive as Netflix and others, which offers original films, TV series, and an expansive library of previously released films and shows.
In addition, traditional TV programming, that of following a schedule set by a network to accord oneself with the latest episode of a show, is struggling to corner much of anyone's time nowadays, especially with the whiz-bang allure of watch-what-you-want-when-you-want schtick of on-demand streaming services.
Such an activity, or lack thereof, is truer for the youth, who, as noted by TechCrunch, aren't cutting the cord with cable but never signing up altogether.
Could traditional cable services chalk the fault up against streaming services with regard to dipping subscriber count, or should they enter the space one way or another? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!