13 May 2019

Is the writing on the wall for streaming services? [opinion]

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Is the writing on the wall for streaming services? [opinion] Shutterstock - Proxima Studio

It seems that every couple of months a new streaming service is announced. Gone are the days when you only had one or two big players. This may soon start to become a problem.

The beauty of only one or two streaming services was that you had a relatively small extra outlay for quite a lot of extra content. Now, with the soon to be introduced Disney+, we have yet another service vying for our hard earned cash. The number of services available is obviously different in different countries. There are so many in the USA that it has fragmented the market quite considerably. It’s getting to the stage where there might be a backlash.

I don’t mind paying for one or two services if I get value for money. However, the addition of another high-profile service backed by a major studio rings alarm bells. Are we going to be bombarded by studio-owned streaming services? Is this the beginning of the end for Netflix and the like? Once the figures start rolling in for Disney+, I think it could be terminal for traditional studio content on streaming platforms.

There might be another option here: flexible subscriptions. The ability to easily pause your subscription to a service for a set time is already available on a disc rental service I use (cinemaparadiso.co.uk). It’s not ideal, I’m sure, from a business point of view but surely better than losing a subscriber who might never return?

Netflix, Amazon and other non-studio backed streaming platforms will have to up their game with regard to original content, which is something they may have problems with if they see a drop-off in subscriptions as people migrate to studio-owned services.

In preparation for this, there are a lot of Netflix, Amazon and Apple-branded shows and movies on their respective platforms. They have seen the writing on the wall for a while. Can they get ‘bums on seats’ watching original content and getting the right following before people start leaving in droves?

Is there enough great original content to keep people interested? The cancellation of original shows that do not perform has increased over the last few months. Is there enough fuel for the creativity train or is it heading for the sheds? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Title image: Shutterstock - Proxima Studio


Chris Foreman

Chris has been working in the broadcast industry for over 30 years, a lot of it as an editor, camera operator, sound recordist and troubleshooter.  He has an unrequited love of technology and a loathing of tomatoes.

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