Aereo Inc. has expanded its broadband TV and cloud DVR service to 19 million people in the New York City metropolitan area, marking its first service expansion since debuting it in five NYC boroughs last March.
The service expansion targets 29 counties in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Those new areas come into play two months after Aereo announced a new round of funding and plans to expand to 22 additional markets covering 97 million homes later this year. (See Aereo Sets 22-City Expansion.)
In concert, the Barry Diller-backed startup is booting up its first ad campaign, which will use billboards, phone kiosks and "key city transit points," including waterways and commuter trains to promote the service and a tagline that's sure to get the attention of NY-area pay-TV operators, including Time Warner Cable Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Cablevision Systems Corp. Here's a sample:
Aereo's platform uses tiny antennas to capture free, over-the-air broadcast TV signals, transcodes them, and delivers them to customers over broadband to tablets, PCs and even Roku Inc.
boxes. That's coupled with a network DVR. Aereo has a deal to stream Bloomberg TV, and is in discussions to carry more cable TV channels. Aereo primary pricing plan is $12 per month with 40 hours of storage. It's also marketing it for $80 per year with 40 hours of storage, and $1 per day with three hours of DVR storage.
Incidentally, Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia is slated to speak today at the National Cable Television Cooperative Inc. (NCTC)Winter Educational Conference (WEC) in Las Vegas.
Why this matters
This is a clear indication that Aereo intends to move forward despite the specter of lawsuits from major broadcasters that are trying to shut it down over allegations that the service violates copyrights.