Consumers are being scammed out of their money and companies are in danger of losing substantial profit with the influx of streaming services and the streaming wars.
Multiple powerful media companies have made plans to release paid subscription streaming services by the end of 2020. Included in this list are AT＆T and WarnerMedia with HBO Max, Comcast with Peacock, Apple’s Apple Tv and Disney’s Disney+. The rise of streaming services and fight for consumer watch time is so intense, it has been called the streaming wars by multiple news outlets.
Most consumers are used to paying around $10-$15 a month to get not only original content like Stranger Things, but classics, like Friends and The Office. This was not only cost efficient it was convenient. All of consumers’ favorite shows and movies, were all in one place. By separating all of these shows into their original owners, regular TV watchers will now have to pay for at least three different services to get the same content.
All of these services will have exclusive content from cable TV and most have released a line up of new original shows and movies. Apple is releasing The Morning Show, HBO will be releasing a Gossip Girl reboot, and Disney is releasing multiple Marvel shows, a new Star Wars show, and reboots of Disney classics, like High School Musical.
Most of the unique content will include many well-known celebrities. Apple TV’s biggest seller, The Morning Show, stars Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carell. Disney+ and National Geographic have collaborated in releasing The World According to Jeff Goldblum. Netflix has signed the Duffer Brothers, who created smash hit Stranger Things, while J.J Abrams, director of Star Wars, has partnered with AT＆T and WarnerMedia.
While many dedicated fans are excited for the influx of new shows and movies, all of the new services cost more than what they are worth. The lowest price is $4.99 for AppleTV, but it is lacking in content. HBO Max, on the other hand will cost a ghastly $14.99 a month.
Many fans should also be angry because they now have to pay for content they have not needed to in the past. For example, Sesame Street will now play on HBO Max but it was originally created as a way to give free, fun education to young children.
There is nothing wrong with companies trying to stay on top of the new market. However, by separating contracts and making their services so expensive, with nothing special in any of them, companies are only scamming loyal customers out of their money.
The streaming wars can also make them lose business. Companies believe they will gain a substantial profit by taking back shows and movies and putting on their services as exclusive content. Although there is no evidence the deals being made will make them money in the long run, as they would be competing with other streaming services. In the past, companies would be paid by independent streaming services like Netflix and Hulu to use their content, but now lower-income customers will not be able to pay for so many services, thereby causing profit to actually decrease.
For the rise of streaming services to stop, both customers and companies must change their actions.
Customers need to be aware of their spending habits. They need to be vigilant and think about if they are actually going to use services before purchasing.
Companies need to make a free or very low cost option with advertisements, so more people can enjoy their services. They also need to partner with more companies to allow their customers to get more shows and movies at a cost they are more likely to pay.
The “streaming wars” could ruin the TV and movie industries of both customers and companies are not careful.