from the Whatever-happened-to-Blockbuster? dept.
If you watch streaming aggregators such as Netflix and Hulu you've likely noticed a decrease in the scope of their catalogs, with items of interest being added less frequently over time, and entire catalogs of content disappearing. New shows come out and don't ever make it to the service, or perhaps are only available through some add on service.
My favorite of all time was the "You need a cable subscription to watch this content, please log in with your cable provider", why even show us those?
This trend has been ramping up as providers try to build and market their own streaming services and restrict competition via content (or via adjustments to bandwidth for their streams)
And it is getting worse - "Netflix and chill no more—streaming is getting complicated" explores the trend.
Disney Plus is set to launch late next year with new Marvel and Star Wars programming, along with its library of animated and live-action movies and shows. It hasn't announced pricing yet, but Disney CEO Bob Iger said in an August call with analysts that it will likely be less than Netflix, which runs $8 to $14 a month, since its library will be smaller.
AT&T plans a three-tier offering from WarnerMedia, with a slate of new and library content centered around the existing HBO streaming app. No word on pricing yet.
Individual channels, such as Fox, ESPN, CBS and Showtime, are also getting into the act. Research group TDG predicts that every major TV network will launch a direct-to-consumer streaming service in the next five years.
Subscribing to service after service will quickly cost more than a cable bill, choice will be limited, finding shows more difficult, and multiple terrible interfaces (instead of one well known crummy interface). Much of the point of cord cutting will be dismantled.
One thing I am sure of, companies that I despise for their past actions (e.g. Disney for copyright terms) are never going to get a direct subscription from me. If their content is not on an aggregator they won't see my money at all. (My little contributions to karma here and there make me happy.)
Families will have to decide between paying more each month or losing access to some of their favorite dramas, comedies, musicals and action flicks.
So fellow cordcutters, will you drop $10/month on half a dozen different subscription services or stick with the aggregators and hope this trend dies out? Maybe add one or two more? Could just dropping them all and picking up shows individually as needed on things like Google and Amazon be the best option soon?
Is the era of binge watch at risk?
Netflix has become the first streaming company to join the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Hollywood’s most powerful lobbying group. This is the first time a non-Hollywood group has joined the group which consists of the six Hollywood studios. The MPAA has been a strong proponent of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) in all technologies it touches and lobbies extensively for maximal reductions in use.
The Netflix-MPAA union coincides with the streamer becoming a card-carrying member of the Oscar race after securing an unprecedented 15 nominations on Tuesday morning. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Sarandos are intent on upping the company's profile as a legitimate force in the movie business, and joining the MPAA will further that goal.
Additionally, once Fox is merged with Disney, the MPAA will have one less member, meaning a loss of as much as $10 million to $12 million in annual dues. Sources say the MPAA is courting other new members as well (Amazon could be a candidate).
Articles about Netflix have been featured a lot on SN in many different contexts.
Earlier on SN:
Video Streaming Services set for Cambrian Explosion (2019)
Netflix to Raise $2 Billion in Debt to Fund More Original Content (2018)
Netflix is the Latest Company to Try Bypassing Apple's App Store (2018)
[. . .]
Your Netflix subscription is about to get pricier.
The popular streaming service announced that it will raise prices across its U.S. plans for new subscribers on Tuesday, and for existing users over the next three months.
Netflix's most popular plan, previously $10.99 a month for two HD streams, will rise to $12.99. The cheapest $7.99 non-HD plan will now be $8.99, while the premium option that allowed four simultaneous streams in 4K will rise to $15.99 per month from $13.99.
Netflix is raising the rates to fund its push into original programming. It was reported by The Economist last year that the company was spending between $12 billion and $13 billion on original programming in 2018, releasing popular films such as "Bird Box" and "Roma" as well as new seasons of TV shows like "13 Reasons Why," "Orange is the New Black" and "Marvel's Daredevil."
Related: Netflix Adds 5 Million Subscribers, Doubles Profit
Netflix Beats Wall Street Expectations on Subscriber Growth, Reaches $100 Billion Market Cap
Video Streaming Services set for Cambrian Explosion