Why the golden age of streaming could be coming to an end

“Nearly every company that makes video is finding its way into the streaming media business. Disney is planning its own Netflix competitor for 2019, backed by content holdings like Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar,” Russell Brandom writes for The Verge. “AT&T plans to launch its own Time-Warner focused equivalent around the same time. Similar competitors from Amazon and Comcast are already taking shape. With the streaming subscription business growing this fast, everyone wants a piece — and they’re ready to fight for it.”

“That fight will have real implications for consumers as studios pull back licensed content and silo it into paid subscriptions,” Brandom writes. “Right now, a single Netflix subscription will get you Marvel movies and DC shows alongside in-house originals — but soon, both of those may leave for parent-company subscriptions at Disney and Time Warner respectively. It’s a kind of streaming Cold War, as each company tries to leverage its own franchises into a standalone subscription bundle.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, as far as feature-length films, there will always be some mechanism to rent specific titles (à la iTunes Store). If companies attempted to force monthly subscriptions to see certain films, they’d likely unleash a torrent of piracy the likes of which they’d rather not even contemplate.

23 Comments

  1. MDN is so damn right ” unleash piracy the likes of which they’d rather not even contemplate!”
    god damn right.
    if the stupid greedy unrealistic studios (hollywood) do not realize this reality, they will F’s themselves to oblivion.
    Greedy/abusive Capitalism no longer works.
    Customer is KING!
    Get with it or die.

    Let’s see how smart Apple will survive – hopefully outfoxing/flummoxing the competition as always, as Appel does it Differently, more realistically according to market demands, not what IT demands.

    Benjamin Franklin 1759 even knew it:
    “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety
    DESERVE neither liberty nor safety.”

    SAME for film streaming: the studios must DESERVE our consumer loyalty/$.
    it’s tv á la carte, á notre commande!

  2. If the pie becomes too fragmented, all but the players with the most compelling content will loose. “Hollywood” has never been all that good at accurately projecting consumer enthusiams, let alone willingness to part with dollars just to watch what they have to offer..

  3. It will suck having to get subscriptions to competing services to watch specific shows but if this is what is needed to bring down traditional cable TV prices, so be it…

    1. The end result will be WORSE than existing cable/sat services. With cable/sat you at least got all or most channels and content that the other cable/sat providers had.

      One to three streaming behemoths where all studios have most of their content on would be the ideal scenario. Single app, access to everything. Think Apple Music and Spotify.

      If every major studio or network starts putting up their own streaming service and yanking content from Netflix, then the monthly bills start adding up fast. And then you have to deal with opening different apps to view different content (Apple TV tries to marshal this somewhat, but the service provider can always withhold external access to titles in the streaming library to limit integration… just as Netflix did).

      1. I am currently paying over $100 for FiOS TV. That’s their “special” contract rate. Once my contract is over, I going to streaming. I can subscribe to 2-3 streaming services and still be saving money.

        1. How much could you save?
          How much choice would you lose on 2-3 streaming services?

          No sarcasm. Genuine questions from someone wanting to understand and not seeing the advantage of paying for multiple services rather than cable.

          1. I would be gaining content, at least content that’s relevant to me. For example, if I subscribe to Google TV, I would get all the channels that I currently watch on cable. Then, I could add Netflix and get access to their original content which I never had with cable. These two services would not even amount to half of what I pay Verizon right now.

      2. If the model becomes one where individual providers have their own service, Amazon does have a head start in that area with integrating the video search to include the content index for all those individual providers you subscribe to via Amazon Subscriptions.

  4. This is how it’s always been. Hulu and Netflix offer a superior streaming service, but the studios are finding their old business model threatened, so they’re looking for a way to stifle progress by making sure their content isn’t available on streaming services. But the people like the streaming services, so they’re demanding the content, so the studios are trying to preserve their own business model by giving people what the studios think they want. But what the people want is lots of quality content at low prices, so the studios will have to give up their business models or they will lose.

  5. Remember this is all a direct result of people wanting to cut the cord, manage bundles the way they want and stick it to the cable companies.

    I predicted this over 16 years ago and even presented it to the ISP I worked at as something to prepare for its eventuality.

    I don’t blame people for getting sick of all those channels (I barely watch networks and have streamed for years) but they will never have the same amount of choices for so cheap.

    Also this-
    “Greedy/abusive Capitalism no longer works.
    Customer is KING!”

    Uh…without Capitalism there ARE no customers…..only servants.

    1. I don’t think rolf is saying capitalism doesn’t work, rather that the greedy/abusive form of capitalism is on its way out.

      That said, I’m not sure I agree with that interpretation either.

      1. I had considered that but after looking at his FaceBook page I kind of figured he being that far left….

        Anyhow, greedy/abusive is also in the eye of the beholder and the ignorance of the observer. It’s thrown around for just about every business there is, usually by people with no understanding at all how it works.

        This has been my argument for years against people who called cable companies greedy but have absolutely no idea how they are structured or why.

        The ultimate irony is being on a site devoted to Apple products, many of which are so dated yet Apple still sells them for a premium.

  6. “unleash a torrent of piracy“
    Those who are pirating, will continue to do so. Those who want to pay for stuff will continue to do so, they’ll just pay more to more different people. The vast majority of folks have a hard time figuring out what the URL for searching “google.com” is, those people are NOT going to start pirating to get the latest Star Trek, they’ll just sign up for CBS.

  7. If I have to buy from a myriad of streaming services I’ll probably go back to buying Blu Ray discs. It may not be cheaper but then I’ll probably not buy as many or watch as much which will mean I’m more productive doing other things like reading!

  8. The streaming wars will continue to confuse and annoy consumers for the next few years and then there will be a shakeout and the truly strong will survive-Apple, Amazon, maybe Comcast. Verizon, Charter, etc will be out of the tv business altogether. Disney will partner. Hulu, PlayStation Vue, DirectTv Now, Sling, gone. YouTube TV will probably make it, too.
    I got so fed up with the compromises of price, channels and/or user interfaces that I now have
    1. Netflix via Apple TV
    2. Free HBO through ATT’s unlimited cellular plan via Apple TV
    3. Verizon basic TV without any STBs so that I could get the lowest price on Internet and phone. I rarely watch any of those handful of channels except maybe once a month on Fios app or through a browser.
    I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. Nice taking s break from watching so much tv. More time for MDN-lol.

  9. I think that a long time ago, in cinema (in the USA), film studios (content creators) were not allowed by law to own theaters (distribution). Maybe if something similar, that is not letting studios have their own distribution (“streaming services)” in this case)

    would this help avoiding the “silo” situation?

    1. I think that was because many towns only had 1-2 theaters and one studio owning them would lock out other filmmakers.

      The internet is the polar opposite in this paradigm.

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