Senators criticize AT&T for not counting HBO Max toward data caps
- Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CO) have written a letter to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson criticizing the company’s decision to exempt HBO Max streaming data from counting toward AT&T mobile customers’ data caps.
- The letter follows AT&T’s recent confirmation to The Verge that HBO Max data wouldn’t count toward AT&T’s mobile data caps.
- It means even though HBO Max, which is operated by AT&T subsidiary WarnerMedia, won’t use up data on AT&T mobile customers’ data plans, other streaming services like Disney Plus and Netflix will.
- But HBO Max is ultimately paying AT&T Mobility for the data used, meaning AT&T is essentially paying itself for the exemption and giving its customers a free perk that could give HBO Max an edge over the competition.
The best and worst of the biggest streaming services
- The House that Bezos Built is able to funnel cash into producing a number of original TV series with heavy-hitter creative teams attached, and to acquire movies on the film festival circuit that will be contenders during awards season, making some corners of its library extra-compelling.
- (SpongeBob, however, is notably not streaming anywhere but Amazon.) The Prime interface is also pretty lousy if you want to watch anything that isn’t an Amazon-produced original series; it’s as if the platform intentionally discourages users from even trying to explore your options.
- And since you can already rent or buy almost all TV shows and movies on Amazon (just like you can on services like iTunes and Vudu), it’s maybe not worth your while if you aren’t interested in the original programming — especially if you’re averse to giving Amazon (and Jeff Bezos) any of your money.
The Roku Channel expands to include over 100 live channels, adds a Live TV guide
- In the U.S., Roku customers will now be able to stream from over 100 live channels, including those offering free access to news, sports, movies, TV, kids and family programming, lifestyle content, and Spanish-language programming.
- But instead, Roku is working in partnership with those companies — its free live channels include content that’s powered by XUMO as well as Pluto TV.
- While it initially focused on offering of a selection of free, ad-supported movies — similar to Vudu’s “Movies on Us” or TUBI, for example — it has grown to include a range of free content, including TV, news, sports and even live channels, as well as add-on premium subscriptions.
- Today, the hub offers over 100,000 titles, including free movies and TV reaching Roku’s estimated 36 million users.
Bandcamp got me back into buying music
- I came away with the impression that the best way I could help some of my favorite musicians, many of whom probably aren’t popular enough to make a lot of money on streaming platforms, was through buying their music directly from them.
- I had used the website in the past to buy albums that were hard to find on Spotify and other streaming platforms, but now I wanted to see what it would be like to use it as my main source of music (I've made a similar decision with books in the past; I now get them from local bookstores and the library instead of from Amazon).
- After all, a couple of $10 album purchases are nothing compared to the hundreds of millions of people who listen to music exclusively through platforms like Spotify.