Last year, a startup called Suppose TV entered the market to help consumers find the best deal on TV services. The site offers an online tool that lets you compare different services — including things like channel selection and pricing. But doing so still took a lot of work in terms of entering your criteria, setting your channel priorities and specifying other requirements. Today, the company is rolling out a new, automated feature to make this whole process even easier. With its “TV Service Alerts,” the startup can now email you when TV services change their prices, channel lineup or features. This way, you can make a cost-saving switch or jump to one that’s a better fit.
As the streaming landscape becomes more fragmented, this sort of thing could become a must-have tool for those who are getting overwhelmed by the various options, and don’t have the time to keep up with all the changes.
Today’s streaming services are constantly tweaking their offerings — editing their bundles, as well as hiking and lowering prices, as they try to figure out what works best.
Last year, for example, Sling TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Now and PlayStation Vue all raised their prices for live TV, as Netflix did for its subscription video service. Netflix has also just this month raised prices again, while Hulu dropped its price for subscription video, but raised its price for live TV.
Meanwhile, the packages are continually in flux, too. For example, Sling TV added a new free tier and à la carte channel subscriptions; Hulu dropped some channels and put them into optional add-on bundles with newly added channels. And most keep adding channels to their packages and add-on selections over time.
Who can keep up with all this?
Suppose TV can help. The site may not be pretty, but it’s handy. Here, you can customize your preferred lineup by setting your channel selections and feature preferences. Then, as the various streaming services’ packages change, it can now email you personalized alerts that tell you if you can get a better deal.
The service has been in beta form for a few months, with some 1,000 testers ahead of today’s launch, Suppose TV said.
The company’s website can also help you find services where local broadcast and regional sports networks are available to you — something that varies on a market-by-market basis. (This is currently available across the largest U.S. markets and a selection of smaller ones.) And it can now point you to promo discounts and deals for streaming services, when available.
For consumers, Suppose TV’s tools can help them make a better decision, but the startup’s business lies elsewhere.
The company is also today launching an API that provides access to its live TV database and recommendation engine, which will allow partners to help their customers find the right mix of streaming services.
“With our API solution, Suppose supports the delivery of TV service selection tools by partner companies like broadband providers, television OS platforms, or retailers,” says Suppose TV co-founder Andrew Shapiro, in a statement about the API launch. “These companies are well positioned to help their customers sign up for and manage their TV services.”