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posted by martyb on Monday January 07 2019, @01:15AM   Printer-friendly
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?


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  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Monday January 07 2019, @02:46PM (1 child)

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 07 2019, @02:46PM (#783187) Journal

    We dropped Netflix three years ago for that reason. The kids occasionally access it on the Roku, leaching off a relative's account, but 9 times out of 10 they'd rather watch youtube or play video games. I try to get them to watch classic films like Star Wars and the Matrix, so that they'll know the cultural touchstones, but it feels pretty clear they only do it to humor us old people.

    I don't know if that's something that's more widely shared in their generation, but if it is it bodes ill for traditional narrative structures.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07 2019, @03:00PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07 2019, @03:00PM (#783193)

    well when i bought my new home, i couldn't afford cable and it was a new community and so I didnt know if there was a local cable pirate guy--the typical cable installer gone rogue. usually a neighborhood has a guy servicing a local area.

    i decided to ditch the tv entirely.

    i still have a vcr, dvd player, and even a blu ray player in a few pcs, but... even as I approach middle age, i find that girls and video games are still way cooler to play with than watching tv. usually of breasts or explosions, which I was getting without the TV.

    it is not that the kids are young and that you are old. its that you haven't tried finding something to do without the tv. pretend you wont be an arrogant snot if you give up television and force yourself, out of boredom or desire or interest or just because I said so, to do something besides watch tv or optimize your free time around when shows are on or when you can watch recorded or streamed shows.

    i couldnt 'make' time. but i found i had a lot of it after the tv got moved into the basement and got turned into a shelf for junk. it is an old tubed one that clips off a lot of the bottom of the picture, where on TV shows you wouldnt notice it much, but in video games it could render some unplayable. so it wasnt even useful for an old gaming system/console or 8 bit computer for the most part--and besides, even an old 800x600 vga monitor looks really sharp on an old system with a $20 adapter.

    so yeah go ahead. stop watching tv for a few days and see if you can adjust. its a lot easier when the cable is out and there is no recourse, but if you can couple giving up facebook at the same time, maybe you can pick up a new vice like ecigs and have something in common with the kids so y ou can hang out with them and share narratives.