Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.
Netflix 18% price rise for US users
More than 58.4 million US Netflix subscribers will take on the non-negotiable price increase for the subscription video-on-demand service, effective immediately. The new prices are the biggest fee increase in Netflix’s history. According to Variety, the company is looking to boost top-line revenue to offset its growing content costs, which were projected to hit $13 billion on a gross basis in 2018.
NBC to launch AVoD service
Scheduled for an early 2020 launch, NBC Universal has revealed plans to launch a free, ad-supported streaming service to anyone in the US with an active pay-TV service. Advanced Television reported the service will include 1,500 hours of NBC TV show and hundreds of Universal movies and will cost around $12 a month for those without a pay-TV service.
New COBA chair
UK A+E Network head Heather Jones has been elected chair of the Commercial Broadcasters Association (COBA). Jones will lead the industry body for multichannel broadcasters, overseeing its executives and setting the strategy for the next two years. She replaces Discovery’s Susanna Dinnage, reports Advanced Television.
Netflix sued over Black Mirror episode
Netflix’s recent feature-length Black Mirror episode Bandersnatch, which boasted interactive elements likened to the Choose Your Own Adventure series of books, has come under scrutiny by the book’s publisher Chooseco which claims Netflix has “unfairly used” its brand. The Guardian reports the infringement suit is seeking at least $25 million in damages.
Orange announces security partnership
Orange has announced a new partnership with Groupama, a home telesurveillance service. According to Telecoms, the acquisition is a strategic move to improve revenues from the creation of Protectline, a joint platform for the operation and management of home telesurveillance services and is a prime example of “embracing convergence” for high rewards and low-risk.
ProSieben e-commerce arm takes over Aroundhome
German media group ProSieben’s e-commerce arm NuCom will take over online broker Aroundhome for home services and products, according to Reuters. The deal, valued at $161 million, represents a move into a new market with NuCom expecting to achieve revenues of one billion euros this year and two billion by 2023.
RT takes Ofcom to court
Last month UK regulator Ofcom found seven Russia Today (RT) programmes in breach of broadcasting impartiality rules. In a statement, RT claimed none were in breach and the broadcaster says it is left with “no choice other than to seek judicial review of the matter,” reported TVB Europe.
Liberty bids to acquire Millicom
The Latin American arm of Liberty has made a bid to acquire Millicom International. Reuters reports the deal would create one of the largest telecommunication carriers in Latin America. Millicom confirmed the “highly conditional non-binding proposal” however there is no guarantee the transaction will formalise. Millicom’s shares rose 5% on the news of the bid, giving the company a market capitalisation of $7.2 billion.