In the beginning, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu were the few companies that offered a wide selection of content available to stream online. Back then, it was cheaper for many people to simply “cut the cord” and enjoy a variety of programming from a small handful of streaming services.
As reported in the Washington Post, however, the future of streaming is getting much more complicated. Disney has recently announced that they are planning to take down the majority of their films and shows that were previously available on Netflix, in advance of creating their own streaming service. They may even create multiple platforms, in addition to a separate service for ESPN.
This is only the latest in a long line of media companies that are offering their own independent streaming services. Some companies view this as positive: CBS in particular is confident about targeting a focused audience with its CBS All Access platform. And while it may be appealing to be able to pick and choose services according to what you want to watch, those costs add up. Some streaming platforms, like HBO Now, can cost as much as a whopping $15 per month.
Streaming was originally created in response to criticism about increased cable bills. Customers often complained that cable bundles meant that they were being forced to pay for content they didn’t want to watch, so it became easier to subscribe to only the streaming platforms that featured programming they liked without the burden of additional bundles.
However, being forced to subscribe to many different companies’ streaming offerings may end up costing the same. At the very least, it’s beginning to create a new kind of relationship between fans and the programming they engage with. With so many choices available, it puts the customer in greater control of how and when they want to watch.