If you ask any mainstream technology or media company, they'll tell you subscription services are the gold rush of the 21st century. What company wouldn't revel in the steady flow of dollar bills rolling in from a defined user base every single month? A recurring line of income keeps companies alive, after all. Looking to cash in on the subscription craze, HBO is launching its own streaming service, and there's a ton of content on the way.
Earlier this week, rumors about an ad-supported video service from Amazon began to circulate. Amazon selectively denied that rumor, but a new report from Reuters claims that Amazon was working on a YouTube TV-like service until very recently.
Video streaming app Hulu has recently made great strides in its attempts to catch up with other similar services like Netflix. In the last few months, it's added profiles to support individual watch histories and introduced Google Home integration. It's also got live TV now, and you can read our thoughts about that in our recent review. No streaming service would be complete without quality shows and movies, and with that in mind, Hulu has now added HBO and Cinemax to its burgeoning list of content partners.
It's not too often that I see Hulu app news pop up here, but this update is important. The popular TV (and more) streaming app is finally getting profiles, à la Netflix. The obvious benefit here is that individual users can have their own watch histories, interests, and recommendations without interfering with each other.
One of the biggest problems with TV news is that if you're not interested in a particular story – say, sports or celebrities – you have no option but to sit through it. Haystack TV aims to solve that by turning the news into personalized streams which are curated through artificial intelligence, big data, and editorial decision-making. The idea being that if you're especially interested in finance or international affairs, you can create a TV channel just about that.
In addition to being available through the browser and as a downloadable application for most major smartphone and Internet TV platforms, it is also available for Google's nascent Android TV platform, which can be found running on the latest-and-greatest Sony Smart TVs.