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The week in OTT: Time Inc. to debut new OTT service; Netflix unveils tool to manage cellular data usage


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The week in OTT: Time Inc. to debut new OTT service; Netflix unveils tool to manage cellular data usage

The week in over-the-topprovides a recap of recent news related to OTT initiatives from variousnetworks and platforms.

*Time Inc. islaunching a new over-the-topstreaming service this fall. Called the People/Entertainment Weekly Network,the free, ad-supported streaming video service will broadcast original,long-form celebrity, pop culture, lifestyle and human interest series, specials,and live event coverage, the company saidMay 5. The network will let users access more than 100 hours of originalprogramming, including new programming daily, and a library of more than 50hours of content. Users will be able to access the service across a range ofdigital platforms and devices. The lineup of original programming includes TimeInc.'s content franchises such as "People's Sexiest Man Alive," "HeroesAmong Us," "World's Most Beautiful," "Half Their Size,""EW's Fall TV Preview," "Must List," "Reunions," "Bullseye"and "People en Español's Mas Bellos." People and EntertainmentWeekly have a combined audience of 105 million, the company said.

*Netflix Inc.unveiled a new toolthat allows users to control data consumption on cellular networks whilestreaming. The new cellular data usage tool has a default setting that will letusers stream about three hours of TV shows and movies per gigabyte of data, thecompany said in a May 5 official blog post.Users can adjust video quality as per data caps for their mobile data plans. Thenew tool is available for the Netflix app on Apple Inc.'s iOS and Google Inc.'s Android operating system.

In other platformnews…

*Netflix ordered a newcomedy series, "Dear White People," based on Justin Simien's indiefilm of the same name. The 10-episode series will premiere globally on thestreaming giant's platform in 2017. The series is about a group of students ofcolor who are attending a predominantly white fictional Ivy League college,according to a May 5 newsrelease.

*Google's YouTube is planningto launch an online subscription TV service called Unplugged in 2017, BloombergNews reportedMay 4, citing people familiar with the matter. The service will stream cable TVchannels over the internet, and the company executives have spoken with mediacompanies such as Comcast Corp.'sNBCUniversal Media LLC,Viacom Inc.,21st Century Fox Inc.and CBS Corp. Norights deals have been struck yet. YouTube, which has already made the requiredmodifications to its technical architecture, wants to offer a channel bundlefor less than $35 a month. According to sources, the TV channels could bepackaged several ways: a skinny bundle with the four broadcast networks andsome popular cable channels, and themed bundles featuring less popularchannels. Customers will reportedly be charged one fee for the main bundle, andsmaller monthly fees for the thematic bundles. However, Google, like Apple, isreportedly struggling to secure the channels it wants at the desired price aslarge media companies expect it to pay more than existing partners AT&TInc. and Comcast. Google is a unit of AlphabetInc.

*YouTube is eyeing aMexican debut for its subscription-based service YouTube Red, according toYouTube director for Latin America John Farrell, Telecompaper reportedMay 4, citing El Financiero. In theU.S., the ad-free YouTube Red costs $9.99 per month, which allows downloadingof videos for offline viewing, among others.

*India's Eros International partneredwith offer its over-the-top service Eros Now on Amazon Fire TV. Under the deal,users of Amazon Fire TV across the U.S., the U.K. and Western Europe will beable to access Eros Now's collection of Hindi, Tamil and other Indian languagetitles. Content will be available on the Eros Now app, which can be accessedvia Amazon store. Users can stream content on multiple devices. Amazon willco-market Eros Now across all relevant geographies with Amazon Fire TV,according to a May 4 newsrelease.

* Inmore Amazon news, the company is addingThe Weinstein Co.'s period drama "Julian Fellowes Presents Doctor Thorne"to its original series lineup. The series will premiere on Prime Video in theU.S. on May 20. It is executive produced and written by Julian Fellowes, thecreator of "Downton Abbey," and directed by Niall MacCormick. TheWeinstein Co. picked up the North American rights to the series from Hat TrickInternational in 2015. Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Hat Trick's Mark Redhead,Christopher Kelly and Ted Childs are its co-creators, the company May 3.

*Hulu LLC NBCUniversal Mediafor a possible partnership on the streaming service's planned over-the-topoffering, Variety reportedMay 2, citing a person with knowledge of the matter. Hulu reportedly is workingon a new subscription service that would allow users to stream shows frombroadcast and cable TV networks. According to The Wall Street Journal, Hulu is close to signing licensing dealsfor the new service with WaltDisney Co. and 21st Century Fox to stream programs from theirnetworks. NBCU's talks to join Hulu's planned OTT service are in anearly-stage, according to Variety.Hulu's content owners are 21st Century Fox, Disney and NBCU.