Streaming has become the largest form of digital media consumption in the world. In 2019, for the first time ever; households subscribed to more streaming services than traditional pay TV. This has pushed existing networks, cable providers, and content owners to hop onto the online streaming arena; setting off a competition frenzy that will surely leave death and destruction to some of the less fit companies.
When did it all start?
Online video streaming services started in the 90s but only took off in the mid 2000s when Youtube uploaded its first videos on its platform. Later on 2007, Netflix launched its online streaming service and set off the real start of subscription-based online streaming. At first, many of the old players in media had largely ignored online streaming; but after noticing its potential and profitability, everyone now wanted and demanded a peace of the cake. Even companies like Amazon and Apple that did not fit the typical profile of video streaming wanted to join in.
Is the honeymoon over?
In the US alone, there are over 20 streaming services of which Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney are the largest in terms of subscribers. However, the competition is increasingly becoming fierce and many analysts have indicated that the golden age of streaming may soon be over. While more services may mean more original content, one frustration among consumers is that, as studios confine content that was once licensed broadly to their own platforms alone, more viewers may be compelled to subscribe to an increasing number of services in order to access different content. This is largely seen as inefficient and wasteful.
Although more providers initially meant that consumers would have access to more streaming choices and better content, it quickly became clear that consumers were overloaded with content; and there was no room for more providers. However, Netflix’s chief Reed Hastings suggests that there is a place for everyone. Many surveys indicated that the average consumer subscribes to between three to five streaming services. Netflix, Amazon and Disney take up most of the subscriptions. This leaves space for only two other services; Whether it’s Apple TV, Hulu, HBO, showmax or the others – depends solely on how the wow consumers.