Let’s be fair. There are too many streamings around—an enormous range. Just lets try to count them: Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, Peacock, Apple TV+, Hulu, Starz, Max, ESPN, Paramount Plus.
That’s what I named from my head, even without the need to sit and remind them. Let’s dive deeper, and we will find more: AMC+, YouTube TV, CBS All Access, Discover, DAZN, FuboTV, Crunchyroll…
And that’s not even close to the full list of streamings in the US. Looks like a list of channels, not services with the same intend. But on the rise of streaming era the streaming services wasn’t supposed to replace broadcast channels, the were suposed to replace… broadcast.
The idea sound perfect. You have a service (of course with 2-3 rivals), the compete for a content and subscribers, you choose the one that fit you the most. But nowadays that’s not about “what fits me the most” question. It’s about “what the hell is even going on?”
Once again, the market is killing itself. Streamings aren’t the sport teams you choose to be a fan of. I don’t care, speaking frankly, that Walking Dead are on AMC+ and House of the Dragon on Max and Blacklist is on Netflix and to watch the Castle Rock I need to go for Hulu. And I don’t care that each of them is offering me exclusive content I don’t need.
Okey, let’s don’t talk about sports, just omit this industry. Its expensive but if you love watching your favorite whatever-game, you’re probably ready to pay for it.
Lets talk about movies, series and shows. That’s what most of us mean when says “streaming”.
I watch Ted Lasso and Sopranos, House of the Dragon and The Rings of Power, The Walking Dead and WandaVision, and don’t forget to add Castle Rock to the mix. And to offer all of these I just need, let’s count: 7 subscriptions. Around $70 a month just to pay for streamings to watch some of their content.
So what, Vlad? They’re offering you the content and you like it, be ready to pay then. I’m ready, no problem. What about people that aren’t? 70 bucks a month for the most basic plans… That’s weird. Not every household can afford so. Even less wants to pay.
What if you’re young enough and you’re going to school? Be ready to earn a hundred delivering mails or selling ice cream and spend this all on streamings. Of course, if your parents aren’t sitting with you and watching different content on 7 different streams.
But you always can buy subscription and share with your friends, so you can cut-off the costs. Alright, they’re staying on your door now and hammer you with “You’re watching outside the household.” And then other streamings will do the same.
They’re in their right? Yeap. Netflix subcriptions surge after new policy? Yeap. But that’s in the short, maybe mid perspective.
But then, we have a big chances the industry will go the wrong way. Right way to the illegal content use. Torrents, for example.
I’m from Ukraine and when I was in school, no one have a clue you can pay to watch a content. Every person in my country was watching content downloaded from Torrent or placed on pirate-website. Just because the content was too expensive to pay for it. When my family has an income per month around $500, paying even $10 for the content is something no one will even think about. Once I asked my dad, when I was 14 years old: “Hey, maybe we will pay for this cool app?”. And he answered: “If you will earn $20 and you will be ready to spend them on this app, go ahead then”.
And that’s threat streamings don’t see at all. They’re not only competing with each other, there’s also a competition for the idea that you can pay and watch, watch, watch content as long, as you wish. And if there would be too much competition inside the industry, there is a high chance that people will just shift away from an idea they’re ready to pay for the content.
Of course, the US, Canada, the UK or Germany isn’t Ukraine in 2000’s, in Ukraine companies providing pirate content had offices in Kiev and was acting like there’s nothing bad in pirating at all. When the government came for EX.ua, the largest pirate content provider with the office in the center of Kiev, that was national shock and no one understand why the government is acting so. Really, I remember those year 2012 and people saw this not like a shutdown of the one of the WORLDWIDE largest pirating-website. People saw this as an attack on their rights. Sounds weird? That’s what countries outside the US and Western Europe was about 10 years ago.
And now the Ukraine is absolutely different country, young generation used to pay for a content. I’m paying for the content, my friends are paying for the content, my dad is paying for the content and even my grandma was paying for the content. All of use have YouTube Premium. All of us have Netflix subscription. We’re subcribed to Amazon Prime and to different software. That became the new normality.
Netflix is just $5 in Ukraine, no-ads in the Basic plan. The average salary in Ukraine is around $700/month. And people are paying. But what happens if they can’t find the show they want to watch on Netflix? For example the show is featured on Hulu and it isn’t available in Ukraine. Yeap, they go to another pirate-website and watch it here. Or download it from the torrent.
And what will happen when all streaming platforms will restrict password-sharing in the US. When they will surge subscription prices and your bills for all streamings you want to watch would be $100+ per month. There’s a great chance there would be the second raise of torrents, pirate-websites and all this shady culture.
The only question each officer sitting in their cozy office somewhere in business-district office building should ask themselves “Are we taking these risks into account at all?”