The big buzzword today is 'streaming.' I'm not talking about some new form of fishing, we are talking about streaming video or music services. The telecom carriers are not content to let Hulu, Netflix, YouTube and so on handle that end of the business – they want a piece of the action themselves. Samsung has their Milk Music and Milk Video streaming up in full-force. While Rogers and Shaw have their Shomi. To add to this, tomorrow, December 3, Bell will debut their own streaming video service, code-named "Project Latte," as CraveTV.
Bell Media is looking for the best of both worlds – to keep their current TV cable business while at the same time keeping a streaming option on the side. CraveTV will only be available to regular TV subscribers…unlike the Rogers and Shaw deal, where no TV subscription is needed. Bell Media President Kevin Crull said, "We want the consumer to have a TV subscription. So you can subscribe to any level of television, you can subscribe to basic TV, or even what has become known as 'skinny basic,' or you can subscribe to a really high-end package". CraveTV will also come to mobile devices, the web, consoles and even Smart TVs later this year.
Regular Cable TV has come under a lot of pressure these past few years, with NetFlix leading the way. The Canadian Media (and Bell) are trying to find a way to cater to those subscribers that like to 'binge watch – where a subscriber will sit and watch episode after episode of the same TV, movie or video series – while still not alienating the regular TV market. Streaming services like Netflix, have unleashed a whole new world, where we can watch commercial-free shows and not have to wait a week for the next episode. Series are getting written that have that 'hook' at the very end of each episode and the viewer just has to see what happens next…I have known many individuals that have watched an entire season in one weekend or even one day!
Mr. Crull has pointed out that their CraveTV is not launching in a Beta Mode as their rivals had done, but a finished and polished service ready to go. He also said that they have been in extensive talks with every major distributor and on Wednesday, they will announce what distributors are picking up CraveTV. The pricing for the service will also be revealed on Wednesday – Rogers and Shaw charge $8.99 a month for their Shomi package. Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if you have a 'craving' for CraveTv or will you be bypassing the service for now…as always, we would love to hear from you.