We have often considered streaming services as a rescue of cables, but the streaming world is gradually taking on different cable TV characteristics. How far will it go?
Why streaming services are fantastic
Streaming services were successful because they make things different. They are known to be cheap, convenient, ad-free and contract-free. They have also changed the way we consume media and offered us a reliable alternative to cable companies.
Early streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon entered the streaming market with aggressive strategies that benefited consumers. They signed as many contracts as possible with TV stations and built huge libraries of movies and television programs. There's a good chance you signed into Netflix years ago, especially for Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, or Disney's Disney-owned library.
The streaming services also gave us a new way to watch serial TV shows. Rather than rush home to catch a new episode of Bones every week, you can wait until she appears on a streaming service and watches the entire week-end commercial-free. In addition, many of these streaming services implemented learning algorithms that encouraged you to watch shows you might have missed. Netflix's algorithms are particularly detailed, to the point that the website displays different thumbnails according to the preferences and shows they have previously viewed.
It turns out, however, that the greatest strength can be a weakness. Cutting cables is just in case you are trying to replicate cables, unfortunately streaming services try to copy cables themselves.
The streaming services we love are not sustainable
Years ago everything seemed to be running on Netflix. The service did not have to compete with many streaming competitors, so it was able to complete some killer contracts with networks like Starz, Disney and AMC. These offers brought with them thousands of shows and films people were familiar with and able to see, such as Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, NCIS, CSI, and Hannah Montana. These popular, contemporary shows brought many subscribers to Netflix. And it was not hard to keep people going for Netflix because there was such a huge library of shows and movies.
But that changed very fast. Competitors like Hulu and Amazon Prime began outbid Netflix for big shows and movies. Services like HBO GO and Showtime cut off the middleman by building their own streaming services. And some of the networks that signed deals early with Netflix felt that they had been hacked and were trying to find better deals after they signed their contract with Netflix.
Let's put things in the right perspective. In 2008, Netflix signed a $ 20 million contract with Starz and won 2,500 shows and films, including Hitat titles such as Ratatouille and Spiderman 3. However, just last month, Netflix was forced to raise $ 1
The binge-watching format is also unsustainable. When you log in to Netflix to look at strangers, you'll probably finish it in a week or two. If there are no shows for Netflix to make you behave, you can stop the service when you're done with strangers. And if you did that in your "first free month," then Netflix does not have a dime.
Hit shows bring people to streaming services, but they do not necessarily keep people with them. In the past, a hit show aired week by week on a television station gave people a reason to renew their subscriptions each year and would provide a steady revenue stream for the networks. However, streaming services can not expect this from their shows.
Streaming services become TV channels
Netflix and the other streaming services can & # 39; They can no longer afford to compete for big shows, and they can not afford to bring in contemporary, popular titles like they used to. At a show like Friends, friends remain stubborn, but Netflix can not make money with the hype of another Breaking Bad or Walking Dead.
That is, unless they themselves create the hype. In recent years, Netflix has slowly weaned itself off network TV broadcasts in favor of Netflix Originals. Shows like Stranger Things, Clean Up with Marie Kondo, and House of Cards have brought many subscribers to Netflix, and they're not nearly as expensive as renewing a circle of friends. It's about time that the only really good shows on Netflix are Netflix Originals. The same process is slowly taking off from services such as Amazon Prime and Hulu, and companies like Apple plan to create their own content content streaming platforms in the future.
This is a great thing for streaming companies, as they make sure their competition wins does not steal all their key content. However, this format is very familiar with the format of cable television broadcasts. Each channel has exclusive content with occasional crossover. And if these network TV shows are removed from the traditional streaming services, where are they going?
Well, TV networks are building their own streaming services. Some of them, like Starz or Adult Swim, are only available through an add-on for your cable service provider. Others, however, follow HBO GO's path, offering their shows and movies exclusively for around $ 15 a month. Disney, WarnerMedia, DC and NBC plan to build their own streaming services in 2019, and in many cases they will not find their features on other platforms.
There is nothing wrong with original content, but the early strength of services such as Netflix and Hulu was their diverse, affordable library populated by a series of network television broadcasts. If this trend towards exclusive content continues (and will continue to do so), you'll need to subscribe to many different services to watch shows from different networks. Basically, it will feel like streaming services will be a new iteration of TV channels.
Streaming Services Also Imitate Cable Bundles
Cable bundles have been human existence since the beginning of time. People hate having to spend exorbitant fees on a package of broadcasters if they only want to access a single television program or channel. And if the two or three shows you want to see are in separate bundles, you end up spending a ridiculous amount of money, mostly for content you do not want.
Why are cable bundles full of shows nobody wants to show? Because that's the point. Cable companies are bundling popular channels with unpopular channels to keep everything afloat. No one in their right mind would want to pay for the Home Shopping Network, but it can make a profit and then end up in a bundle with NFL or Cartoon Network.
The bundle format keeps the cable alive. It is not good for consumers, but it guarantees that TV stations will receive a steady stream of income, even if they are driving garbage.
Streaming services work in a similar but quieter way. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon are willing to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for shows like The Office, Seinfeld and Friends, because these are shows that die-hard fans will watch again and again for years.
If this fan of The Office or Friends maintains a Netflix subscription, then Netflix is guaranteed a stable income stream that can support other titles, much as cable bundles combine popular and unpopular channels to keep everything afloat.
Yes, big successes such as strange things bring many subscribers with them. However, there are only a few hits, and binge-watchers can unsubscribe anytime they're done with a trend show. Since Netflix has not been able to create its own cult classic comedy show that can hold people in the same way as Friends, the company has no choice but to provide $ 100 million for a contract extension put. Emerging streaming services like NBC also rely on the quiet bundle format to keep the roof over their heads. You'll probably only subscribe to one NBC streaming service for one or two shows, but if these shows are The Office or Parks and Rec, there's a chance you'll keep this subscription for a long time.
While The bundle format helps keep streaming services alive. This can be frustrating and expensive for the consumer. Netflix has been increasing its subscription rate every year, presumably because they are spending so much money on their $ 100 million contracts. Some services, such as Hulu with Live TV and Amazon Prime follow this example and it is not clear what the prices will be. And as more and more streaming services emerge, good content becomes more and more exclusive. After all, you might have signed up for a handful of streaming services just because everyone has a single show you want to see.
Live TV streaming is essentially just cable
One of the main reasons why people stick to cables lies on news and sports channels. There are many online services for live TV and sports, and these tend to be much more expensive than an average streaming service. The basic Hulu Live and Fubo packages cost $ 45, but you'll need to pay a bit more if you want to use more channels. The sling starts at $ 25, but also has additional packages.
Add-ons? Do you pay extra for more channels? That sounds familiar. And why should not it be, because live TV streaming services are owned and operated by cable companies. Sling is owned by Dish Network, Disney will be the majority shareholder of Hulu in a few months, and I bet you can not guess who owns DirectTV Now.
Some live streaming services are not just cable clones. Twitching is one of them. However, the news and sports industries on television are dedicated exclusively to the cable format. They grew up with cable TV. When news or sports are shown in a service like Twitch, they have to completely restructure their format. They need to advertise differently, they need to prevent their viewers from switching tabs, and they need to create a global, time-zoneless audience. And when people subscribe to an online version of cable, news and sports networks have no reason to develop their format.
Consumers are already losing out with these live TV services. People are leaving their cable companies to subscribe to an online version of their cable company. They are now charged less, but live TV streaming services are already becoming more expensive.
If on-demand streaming services are still fragmented into expensive, small-scale websites, it may be better to have a live TV streaming service that shows content from a variety of networks.
Why is this happening?
Streaming services are beginning to look like cable companies, this fact is undeniable. They use practices that are similar to those of bundles, and they are split into channel-like services that offer their exclusive content for $ 15 per month. Some streaming services are operated or purchased by the same companies that operate the cable companies, and most online live TV services are just a wolf in sheep's clothing.
This does not happen because streaming services compete with cable television. Streaming is the future. This happens because streaming services and TV stations compete with each other within a decentralized, unsustainable business model. They must bid for shows that could possibly be taken out of service by a competitor. You have to provide a lot of good content to be successful. They have no contracts or weekly shows so subscribers can go anytime.
This competition pushes for streaming services to focus on exclusive content, turning on-demand streaming into a new iteration of television channels. And with on-demand streaming services finding no place for live news and sports, cable companies are entering the live TV streaming market. They prevent the live TV format from changing the way serialized television has evolved, and they laugh at the way to the bank because their customers believe they have finally gotten out of the way of the cable.
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Streaming services offer many benefits, and these benefits will not disappear so quickly Save money by cutting the cable, even the live TV options are cheaper than cables (at the moment), you can share the cost of your subscriptions with friends or family members, and unsubscribe at any time if you want Pot has highlighted, streaming services are simply better than cable – and they are still.
People who do not watch a lot of movies can occasionally rent from Amazon or Youtube, and some websites offer advertising that is supported on-line. Demand Streaming (AVOD) like Lifetime, the Roku Channel, Youtube, Plex and finally IMBD Freedive. Streaming services also give people the opportunity to watch old shows or movies that have been removed from syndication. With niche services like Mubi and the Criterion Channel, you can see expensive, hard-to-find films, and services like Qwest.tv are for concerts and music videos.
And of course, streaming services have completely changed the way we create them, consuming media. Finding a movie or TV show is easier than ever, and serialized TV shows are transformed into masterpieces that watch what you see. Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu originals have had a major impact on our lives and culture, and the quality of these original shows and films will certainly increase with competition.
However, we should be careful about streaming services. They offered us rescue from the cable, but a few missteps could bring us back to first place. It's easy to ignore an $ 2 increase in your bill, and it's easy to subscribe to a service you're not using. If you do not want to have a streaming service running, take your money elsewhere. That's the only way to communicate with a business.
Sources: Medium / Netflix, Digital Trends, Forbes, New York Times, Macworld