NBC is trying to woo cord cutters and cord nevers with its plans to launch Seeso, an all-you-can-eat comedy streaming video service. For $3.99 a month, subscribers can watch their fill of comedy classics like The Office and 30 Rock, exclusive programs including Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Kids in the Hall, only available on Seeso, as well as original programming like The UCB Show, an animated adventure from Dan Harmon.
According to Mashable, Seeso is only available in beta right now, but will be released to everyone in January. For now, interested viewers can indicate their interest on the Seeso site to learn when they can subscribe.
NBC joins the over-the-top (OTT) TV crowd, including services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, CBS All Access and others, who are trying to appeal to cord cutters and cord nevers, who are ditching pricey cable subscriptions in favor of on-demand programming they can watch at home or on the go. NBC “leaked” news of the service in March, but until now, it offered little in the way of details.
And, of course, NBC is owned by cable giant Comcast who also ventured into the OTT world with its own streaming service Watchable. That product is curious in and of itself. Comcast offers a cord cutting product, but to use Watchable, you have to have a cable subscription.
There are many streaming services entering the OTT marketplace to try to capture Millennials who lean toward on-demand viewing, as well as traditional TV customers who are tired of paying for pricey TV subscriptions. Netflix and Hulu have the most extensive offerings and the largest audiences, while others like HBO Now and CBS All Access have more limited offerings.
We expect Netflix and Hulu to remain the top OTT services – for now – provided that their price points and programming continue to appeal to a wide customer base. Each offers multiple price points and plan options, while other services like Seeso and CBC All Access are priced lower but have limited content to choose from. Services like those will attract fans of those specific types of programming.
We also expect to see more players entering the OTT market in the next several years. Less popular services will eventually be weeded out, while major players like Netflix and Hulu will secure their place in OTT history.
Price and programming will be key differentiators, but streaming video services also need to be cognizant of their business models, including the involuntary churn that Netflix noted last week in its third quarter earnings report. This is a very real concern for all subscription companies, including streaming on-demand video services like Netflix and NBC’s Seeso.
As banks reissue credit and debit cards with chip cards – also called smart cards or EMV cards – card numbers and/or expiration dates will change, causing subscription renewal payments to fail. Subscription companies will need to develop systematic ways to refresh that customer data to prevent an involuntary, but very real, mass exodus of its subscribers.
For more on that topic, see our interview with payment processing expert Paul Larsen of Paul Larsen Consulting LLC, who will be a keynote speaker at our Mastering Payment Processing for Recurring Revenue event this Thurs., Oct. 22.