For the longest time, we’ve discussed how streaming media services like Netflix and Hulu are providing a new direction for where viewers check out their content, moving away from traditional television as a result. But the way these companies are finding partners and trying new ideas to keep these viewers coming are unique—and will help change the face of what we’ve come to expect from streaming media.
The defining leader in the streaming media market is Netflix, a company that continues to make killer deals not only with programming partners, but also working with those to provide better accessibility—and it just landed a huge partner through Comcast, they announced Tuesday.
The streaming channel declared a truce with the cable giant, and as a result, will be included as part of the Xfinity X1 module, where consumers can choose from programming straight through their Comcast-enabled device.
“Comcast and Netflix have reached an agreement to incorporate Netflix into X1, providing seamless access to the great content offered by both companies. We have much work to do before the service will be available to consumers later this year. We’ll provide more details at that time,” the companies noted in a statement.
As a result, Netflix could see a huge spike in viewership, and Comcast would also benefit by keeping consumers from simply “cutting the cable” to view whatever’s on Netflix, since it would now be an integral part of the service.
The company also recently made some moves on the programming front to keep consumers happy. Earlier this year, they signed a deal with Disney to become the “exclusive pay TV home” for a majority of its programming, including Marvel-licensed films like Captain America: Civil War and future films from Pixar and Lucasfilm, among other studios. In addition, it also announced a partnership with The CW earlier today. The move will allow hit shows, as well as premieres, to run on the streaming network a mere eight days after their season finales end on TV. It’s a deal that’s expected to be worth $1 billion, about the same range as Disney’s.
“Netflix members in the US love the great lineup of series from The CW, and we are thrilled to extend the relationship and bring those shows to our members exclusively now, just eight days after their season finales,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content 0fficer at Netflix about the deal. “This is a great step forward with a valued network partner to give fans exactly what they want, when and how they want it.”
For fans of shows like Supergirl, Arrow and The Flash (along with potential hits like Riverdale and Frequency), this is a massive deal—and, again, it’ll simply add potential subscribers down the road.
Amazon Prime continues to grow, mainly due to its diverse library of programming. What’s more, it has HBO as a top-ranked partner with its service, despite the fact that the pay channel launched its own on-demand service, HBO Now, last year.
Shows like The Wire, Deadwood and Six Feet Under continue to be huge favorites with the streaming community, intertwined with Amazon’s own programming, including shows like Transparent and Mozart In the Jungle, along with various films and other TV shows.
Hulu, meanwhile, continues to thrive with its own original programming, including The Mindy Project and 11.22.63, both of which have been huge hits with their subscribers.
However, the company’s most interesting direction of late seems to be with virtual reality, as it recently announced that it’s working on Hulu VR. With it, the company promises that consumers can “experience your favorite shows and movies on Hulu like never before.
Immerse yourself in our alternate, 3D viewing environments for a whole new perspective on TV.” The service is currently up and running for various devices, including Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR, among others.
Where network and cable programming execs continue to find ways to keep audiences coming back for more, streaming media continues to make strides in many different directions, through programming, innovation and deals that can help attract more subscribers. And there are still many more moves that are likely to come as 2016 rolls on.