Streaming services have captured the average consumer's screens over the past ten years. To many, it seems as if there is a new service emerging every week. Sophia Hall is here to explain the battle of streaming services and clarify why there are so many competing platforms.
(Photo Courtesy of Samsung)
The competition to lock down exclusive content in this new era of streaming has begun. Despite there being over 200+ streaming services available in the US, most Americans have only heard of the “big three:” Amazon, Netflix and Hulu. The average American is subscribed to three services and on average pays about $8.50 for each service. However, in these new streaming wars monopolizing popular titles has become difficult, so Americans may begin subscribing to the dozens of other enticing options to watch their favorite shows.
Many of these streaming services are popping up because of the advantages streaming has over traditional TV companies such as Comcast. The streaming services are creating a cheaper alternative to cable and providing better flexibility and customer service. However, now every broadcaster who owns the copyright to popular shows is launching its own streaming service. According to a study by TDG, it is predicted that every broadcaster will have a streaming service by 2022, and most will have content exclusive on its own platform. Everyone wants a bigger slice of the potential profits, so movies and shows are becoming increasingly divided among the servers.
One worry concerning this explosive rise in streaming services is the expense of paying for multiple services to get the content a consumer wants. The cost of subscribing to Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, and the plethora of others in the vast world of streaming adds up and quickly grows expensive.
Services such as Hulu have the advantage of being owned by Disney, an already wealthy parent company, but Netflix has to depend on the popularity of others’ content or relies on making its own content, Netflix Originals, to keep up with competitors. As a result, Netflix has to regularly raise costs, to the dismay of its subscribers.
The power in this new era of television lies in exclusive content. If services can lock down a popular show, subscribers will feel forced to pay additional fees. This is what Disney+ is doing with Marvel and why Warner Media is locking “Friends” and “Doctor Who” to HBO Max. On top of that, NBCUniversal reclaimed “The Office” for its Peacock service. Don’t forget about Apple TV+ which came out just a few months ago.
This is only the beginning of the streaming wars. Into 2020, your streaming bill will only increase as more services become available and you subscribe to more platforms to get the most desired, service-exclusive content.