Sling TV Releases User Profiles, Promises Accelerated Pace of Innovation in 2023 TechCrunch

Sling TV Releases User Profiles, Promises Accelerated Pace of Innovation in 2023 TechCrunch

Live TV streaming service owned by Dish sling tv It is trying to catch up with competitors with the launch of new features like user profiles and the promise of more changes coming in 2023. consumer electronics show last week, initially on Android TV and Fire TV devices, with support for more platforms coming in the near future.

Over the past several months, it has also expanded its new direct-to-consumer subscription integration search+ plus, which joins 50 other services now available through Sling. And it has made a sports scores feature available on Roku, Fire TV, and Android TV devices.

Sports Scores has been rolling out to users since last year to make it easy to access scores from NFL, college football, NBA, NHL and MLB games while continuing to watch live TV or on-demand programming. Meanwhile, Sling TV’s subscription lineup, now close to 50 services, is available from the last august,

Image Credits: sling tv

Combined with the rollout of user profiles (which hadn’t yet been formally announced), the changes suggest a streamer trying to innovate to attract subscribers again.

Although one of the early leaders of live TV streaming, Since its launch in 2015Sling TV lost its charm as newer services such as Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV hit the market. For example, for the first three quarters last year, Sling TV suffered from subscriber losses. However, recently the company reversed that declining trend in the third quarter of 2022 earnings in November, when it reported 2.41 million total subscribers after a net addition of 214,000. But this figure is still less than Sling TV’s 2.6 million subscribers in the third quarter of 2021, for comparison.

Sling TV needs to do more – and fast.

TechCrunch sat down for an interview with Gary Skanman, EVP of Sling TV and President of Sling TV. consumer electronics show in Las Vegas last week, to find out what’s next for the service in the coming months.

Sling TV parent Dish last year hired the industry vet, whose experience includes pay TV with roles at Spectrum, Charter and Cablevision (now Altice USA) and in the streaming space. Most recently, Skanman served as Chief Product Officer at Common Sense Networks, where he led the launch Sensical, a safe streaming service for kids, Now he is hoping to revive the Sling TV brand.

“Over the next several quarters, you will see very rapid innovation of product and product sets,” Schaanman told TechCrunch. “When people join our company, we expect them to be creative and innovative and about winning. And that’s why we’re starting to bring more people into the company to help grow it, ” They said.

The company is also looking at how it can better serve the different types of streamers and their needs in the coming year.

“We are focused on helping consumers discover, consume and engage with all the content they want. And we’re comfortable with a variety of consumers who have different needs. And that includes…people who have our paid service – and have subscribed to all of our add-on packs in full. But it could also be people who come by for a period of time and want to see some free content,” Skanman said.

“Free is a part of how we think about that engagement with the customer. We want a lifelong relationship with the subscriber where they see value in what we provide – and [free content is] A piece of that,” he said.

Shanman couldn’t comment specifically on what Sling TV has in mind regarding any free streaming plans to come.

But overall, the streaming industry has shifted much of its focus in recent months to serving consumers free “live TV” channels, also called Fast Channels, which appear in a grid-like guide that Feels more akin to a cable TV experience instead. Compared to ad supported video on demand. For example, Roku has launched FAST channels through live tv guide as owned by amazon freebieIn addition to offerings from Pluto TV, Zumo and net, For some services, the idea is to entice customers with free streaming — as Roku does through its free movies and TV hub, The Roku Channel — then upsell them paid streaming subscriptions.

Of course, if Sling TV were to go further down the free route, it could complicate its relationship with streaming media platforms like Roku and Amazon, which want to direct consumers to their own free streaming products.

In addition to its plans to innovate on the product, Scanman believes that Sling TV has other advantages, including being simple and straightforward to use. He also spoke about the reliability of the service. Its been a long time Since “Game of Thrones” crashed its service, after all. But even something as simple as Sling TV can be seen as bare-bones, depending on who you ask.

Still, the company believes that Sling TV’s big advantage isn’t necessarily the user interface, but how it organizes its programming into affordable take packages. Today, the streamer differentiates itself through a la carte programming packages that start with a base subscription (Sling TV’s “Orange” or “Blue” packages) and various add-ons. Rival services, meanwhile, tend to bundle a large number of channels into a single offering, forcing subscribers to Continuously Pay higher New deals are forged in the form of prices.

“From a live TV perspective, we still have the best value in the market. We also have the most flexibility in the market. The truth is, you know, I think we’re going to be a very pro-consumer customer offering.” Most of our competitors are what I would call true one-for-one cable replacements, but they are more expensive in some cases,” said Schaanmann.

The company plans to talk more about the potential of Sling TV in the coming months, he said. The message is timely, as consumers are beginning to feel the financial implications of having too many streaming options and face a market where live TV plans are often no cheaper than traditional cable TV.

“We start at $40. So our flexibility and choice is a great value proposition in the market,” explained the executive. “You can switch between packages whenever you want. We have over six add-on packs so when you add them up, it’s still less than what you’d pay on YouTube TV or Hulu TV,” he pointed out. “The more consumer choices we have, the more our The service has value in the market, as wallet share has been challenged across the board,” Schanmann said.

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