A few years ago if you asked most people what streaming service they use the answer would have likely been something like Netflix or Hulu. Then Amazon jumped more into the equation with their growing Amazon Prime offerings.
Now though, the list of streaming services is continuing to grow at a ridiculous rate. That’s not a good thing.
Disney is the latest to announce that they’ll be working to create their own streaming services, one for their ESPN sports content & the other for their Disney related properties which might include Marvel & Lucasfilm & Pixar. This announcement means that the studio is officially ending their deal with Netflix that they forged in 2012 that just recently took effect and allowed Netflix to air Disney’s new films before anyone else.
On the surface, the idea of different companies being able to handle their own streaming destinies might seem like a good one. In the long run, though it’s a likely disaster waiting to happen.
One of the many reasons that streaming became such a big thing, alongside the portability & some other perks, is that people were said to be tired of paying large amounts of money for a package of channels on Cable or Satellite, some of which they didn’t want to watch.
Paying less than or up to $10 a month for something like Netflix where they could just watch the things they wanted when they wanted, was a great buy for a lot of people.
The issue with all the streaming starts there. While $10 for one service is fine, paying anywhere from $10 to $20 each month a piece for multiple streaming services to get all the shows you want begins to add up.
If you want to watch Star Trek: Discovery you have to get CBS All Access. If you feel like diving back into the return of Young Justice next year that means paying for Warner Bros. upcoming streaming platform.
Soon all the Disney stuff, maybe even the Netflix Marvel shows, will be on another platform. Then there is still Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon that have their own original programming.
If all of those platforms were $10 a month, they aren’t as they have levels in many cases, that would be $60 a month right there for the content. That’s not even counting all the other platforms out there like HBO Go, YouTube Red and more.
Yes, no one is being forced to pay for all the platforms since I’m sure someone is thinking that right now while reading this. But each one is coming up with tantalizing programming that used to be kept in the same place and splitting it up, knowing that people will be drawn to follow the programming.
Many of us will likely end up resisting paying for multiple services, just because of willpower or monetary restrictions, but others won’t.
This is all an issue because if more and more companies follow suit, and likely they will as there is no doubt some company considering it right now, there will be a breaking point. A point where audiences are just too tapped out to afford all the platforms that have shown that they want to watch and the market for streaming platforms could just crumble.
What happens to Hulu or Netflix when they lose a chunk of their licensed material because the owners all have their own platforms? Both have original programming but they rely still on having those other movies and shows to draw in viewers.
Pirating is sure to skyrocket in many cases as the shows that people want will be sealed off behind a company owned paywall. Game of Thrones is on the Cable premium channel HBO and is highly regarded but is still one of the most pirated shows out there because a lot of people don’t want to pay almost $20 for HBO.
Building one’s own streaming platform seems like a good idea, keeping your content to yourself and making all the money yourself without having to pay money into a contract, but in the long run, it’s likely to be a losing proposition.
With how little money most people have to spend on the necessities of life as it is, studios are just setting themselves up for eventual financial failure.
Studios, just stop. Play nice with one another and keep your stuff on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon. We beg of you.
We’re all already broke, and we don’t want to be broker.