The Week in Streaming: New Content, Niche Channels

For many streamers, new content and channels can be as exciting as a new season of their favorite shows. While all streaming service providers continue to acquire new content, Amazon, Netflix, and Sling TV are in the spotlight this week. What’s coming to these channels should be exciting for many viewers. As an avid streamer myself, I love having new content to watch while I wait for the next season of my favorite shows to come on. This is especially true since Stranger Things season three was postponed until next summer! While I let for that, let’s take a look at the new content headed to these three streaming service providers.

EU Orders Amazon and Netflix to Fund More European Content

Are you an Amazon Prime Video and/or Netflix subscriber who enjoys watching European TV series and movies? (I know I am!) If so, you should know about a law recently passed by the European Union. It could mean more European programming is headed to your favorite streaming service in the near future. Before we speculate any further, let’s take a look at the law itself.

The EU’s law allows its member countries to compel online streaming services to fund European films and TV shows. This expands the EU’s existing broadcasting rules law that regulate Netflix and Amazon as if they are traditional broadcast media services. Unless Netflix and Amazon expand their amount of European content by December 2018, they might have to pull out of European markets.

According to the law, there are two ways that online streaming services can comply:

  1. Directly invest in European movies and TV series.
  2. Pay into some type of national fund.

Admittedly, I’m a fan of some European TV series I’ve watched on Netflix. You might remember me raving about The Frozen Dead and Mantis in past Streaming Saturday posts. Mrs. Buckler and I liked those shows so much that we decided to start a new foreign series – the Finnish murder-mystery series, Deadwind. I wouldn’t mind having more European content available in our Amazon and Netflix menus. I just hope that funding for these Euro-shows doesn’t cut into the money these streaming providers develop acquire American-made content.

I am an American, and English is the only language I speak. It would stand to reason that I prefer a higher ratio of American series and movies since that’s my culture. I suspect that the viewing habits of European subscribers reflect a similar pattern but in the reverse. They probably watch a large amount of their country’s homegrown programming with maybe a splash of American content here and there. It’s only natural. That’s why I hope this new law brings more content from foreign sources without sacrificing future development of shows in my native country. In fact, I hope it works out well for viewers on both sides of the Atlantic.

PBS Masterpiece Now on Amazon Prime Channels

This bit of streaming news is more exciting to Mrs. Buckler than it is to me. The PBS Masterpiece Amazon channel has been added to Amazon Prime Channels. This will be huge news for my wife, who absolutely loves all things British TV. She’s already watched Downton Abbey, Grantchester, and Poldark, among many other English shows. Now, she’s looking forward to binge-watching the first two seasons of Victoria. If you’re an fellow Anglophile, you’ll probably enjoy the categories on Amazon’s PBS Masterpiece:

  • Popular Series
  • Period Drama
  • Mystery & Thriller
  • Popular Movies

Within these categories, you’ll find a variety of PBS TV shows, miniseries, and movies. Mrs. Buckler mentioned wanting to watch Great Expectations, a three-episode mini-series based off the epic novel by Charles Dickens. She asked me to join her, but I told her I already read the book in high school. (Note: I’m sure I’ll end up watching it with her anyway.)

Sling TV Adds Four À La Carte Channels

What’s better than a movie or series about your favorite topics? An entire channel dedicated to it, that’s what. Sling TV recently added four new channels to its À La Carte lineup. You can add any or all of these channels to any Sling TV package, or as a standalone option. Here are the niche channels that Sling TV added:

  1. CONtv: Plays shows and movies for Comic Con fans. This includes sci-fi, horror, anime, martial arts, and more. It also features retro 1980s TV shows and movies such as 21 Jumpstreet, Night of the Living Dead, and more. This channel costs an additional $5 per month.
  2. Docurama: This provides a curated collection of documentaries and TV shows, such as Waste Land, Chasing Ice, and much more. Docurama costs $5/month.
  3. Grokker: This is one for health conscious viewers. It offers on-demand yoga, fitness, meditation, and cooking classes. Grokker costs $7/month.
  4. Here TV: For $8/month, Sling TV viewers get LGBTQ movies, series, documentaries and short films. Some of the content on Here TV includes Broke Straight Boys, Work in Progress, and The World Unseen.

Adding these channels is a good move for Sling TV. Similar niche programming sources continue to increase across all the streaming service providers, so these channels continue to make Sling competitive. By keeping the monthly costs of these channels under $10/month, more people will be able to afford to add at least one. (Yes, I know I’ve said this before. I’ll continue to say it as the trend of niche programming continues among the streaming services.)

There You Have it, Streamers

This is a small peek at the new content and channels coming your way. This won’t be the last of it, either. You can bet that all or most of the streaming services will continue to acquire new shows, series, and/or dedicated channels in a fevered bid to outdo each other. I have a feeling I’ll be writing another one of these posts that details even more new content acquired by the streaming service providers. Just wait and see!

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.