Disney+'s subscriber base has nearly doubled since early February and now exceeds 50 million, due in part to recent international launches. The company, which originally predicted it would reach between 60 million and 90 million customers by 2024, rolled out two popular theatrical films earlier than scheduled.
Cox Communications has extended its virtual assistance service to all of its markets as a way to keep customers and technicians safe during the coronavirus pandemic. The cable company said that the service, which Help Lightning is partnering with Cox to offer, has been in the works for a while, but became a priority during the outbreak.
ESPN continues to lean on esports to help fill gaps in its live coverage as social distancing keeps traditional events on hold. The network ran a 12-hour esports marathon the weekend of April 3, and ESPN2 will broadcast five matches from the League of Legends' 2020 Championship Series Spring Split Playoffs through April 19.
O'Keefe Reinhard & Paul launched an "All In Illinois" campaign for Gov. J.B. Pritzker's office that features stars including comedian Matt Walsh, actress Jane Lynch and Jason Beghe from "Chicago P.D." encouraging residents to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Creative includes a campaign logo, videos and a dedicated site with lawn signs people can download.
Netflix has introduced additional controls for parents to limit content accessible by children. Filters, viewing options for programs and passcodes on individual profiles come at a time when more people are watching the streaming service.
Flex and Xfinity X1 subscribers will get free on-demand programs from a number of international networks as well as those aimed at the Black and Latino communities. Comcast had already given customers on these services streaming content from Epix and Showtime at no cost, and is now expanding its offers as the coronavirus continues to keep people at home.
CNN has bought Canopy, a startup specializing in content curation, for an undisclosed price. Canopy's machine learning technology for personalized content recommendations will aid CNN in the creation of a news aggregation platform, the WarnerMedia outlet said.
Comcast's NBCUniversal will increase content at the expense of ads on its news channels and some entertainment shows. NBCU may also offer family film nights or marathons on some services, with sponsorships replacing many commercial pods.
Social distancing has driven especially large increases in TV viewing among younger audiences, the Video Advertising Bureau reports, with children 2-11 watching 39% more and adolescents 12-17 increasing their viewing time 46%. People aged 18-34 also watched 83 million hours more during the week that started March 16, compared to the last seven days of February.
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