Tallahassee Journal

Expanding options for watching online video

Expanding options for watching online video

Online video is on the verge of some potential tipping points that mean even more choice for viewers. For starters, the amount of money going to digitally delivered video — via streaming and downloads — continues to skyrocket and is expected to overtake Hollywood’s box office by 2017 when electronic home video hits $12 billion, according to estimates by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.netflix-building-fromap

More importantly, that demand for video — at home and on the go — has traditional media outlets, such as ESPN, HBO, Showtime and others, looking to connect with those who abhor monthly pay-TV bills. “Consumers really aren’t making much distinction anymore, whether they get (content) on a device, tablet or ‘TV everywhere’ application in their home,” said PwC analyst Joe Atkinson. “They are really just looking for easy ways to get to content they value. For the consumer, the living room is a pretty easy way to get it.”

As more consumer dollars flow to over-the-top (OTT) online video services, those destinations are becoming increasingly diverse and deep. For instance, market leader Netflix continues to add original exclusives such as Grace and Frankie to its library, recently acquiring Brad Pitt’s film War Machine, due next year, and canceled teen drama Degrassi.

Amazon Prime Instant Video, which gives Amazon Prime subscribers free access to stream movies like Noah and The Aviator and TV series such as Veep and SpongeBob SquarePants, recently signed a deal to offer Music Box Films later this summer, including Beloved Sisters and Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem.

Other lesser-known services such as Acorn TV and XiveTV cater to fans of British TV and documentary lovers. Warner Archive Instant ($9.99 monthly), which launched last year, makes rare and hard-to-find classic films such as Beyond a Reasonable Doubt and TV shows such as Daktari, available to subscribers.