) may be the current streaming video champion with more than 30
million subscribers worldwide, but a new streaming TV service
hopes to change that.
, which brings live TV to the Internet, is in the process of
expanding to 22 additional cities, including Atlanta, GA; Austin,
TX; Detroit, MI; Chicago, IL; Miami, FL; and Washington, DC.
This week the company
brought its service
to Boston, MA.
Backed by Fox Broadcasting Company co-founder and
) Chairman Barry Diller, Aereo made its debut
more than one year ago
in New York City. At the time, Aereo had planned to charge $12
per month for its most basic service.
The company now offers several plans, including a free option
that provides just one hour of daily streaming.
While some may question the value in paying for free
over-the-airwaves content, Aereo does provide a few inherent
First and foremost, the service allows users to record live
television. Up to two channels may be recorded simultaneously,
but only those who pay will be able to access this feature.
In addition to the $12 monthly plan (which includes 40 hours
of cloud-based DVR storage space), Aereo offers an $8 plan that
cuts the DVR storage in half. Users can purchase an entire year's
worth of service for $80, or pay as they go at just $1 a day.
That latter plan seems to be where Aereo could become the most
useful -- especially after the service goes nationwide. It could,
for example, allow traveling businessmen to watch and record live
sporting events they would have otherwise missed.
In that regard, Aereo might turn out to be a grand experiment
in determining how much consumers are willing to pay to view
their favorite "free" shows, and how often they are willing to
spend money on them.
If one million Americans purchased a day pass to watch the
season finale of a hit CBS (NYSE:
) series, such as The Big Bang Theory, the network might be
tempted to implement a paywall in the not-too-distant future.
Whether or not that would be good for Aereo -- or consumers --
has yet to be determined.
In the meantime, Aereo must fend off an unusual competitor.
The Wall Street Journal
, Alkiviades David has created a similar service called
Aereokiller, which was initially promoted with the website
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer
of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or
louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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