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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, @03:39PM (3 children)

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Monday January 07 2019, @03:39PM (#783204) Journal

    I find I don't mind buying a t-shirt or some such to support producers of that sort. We took the kids to see Jonathan Coulton [] at the Prospect Park Bandshell in Brooklyn and we bought a couple of his albums and items; his songs are almost all about geek culture and much different from the RIAA pablum and we want to support that.

    My wife does the same for a band called Girly Man. Not a blockbuster act, but they have developed a fan following and do a good job nurturing it with just the right level of interaction (not too much to cheapen the experience, but not so little that people forget about them).

    Washington DC delenda est.
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  • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday January 07 2019, @05:06PM (2 children)

    Coulton does musical humor damned well. I just wish he'd STFU about politics. He doesn't have the knack for being politically funny without being a dick like good political comedians do.

    My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Monday January 07 2019, @11:19PM (1 child)

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Monday January 07 2019, @11:19PM (#783448) Journal

      I wasn't aware he had tried to be political. They all feel they need to jump on the #resistance bandwagon, it seems.

      "Chiron Beta Prime" and "Re: Your Brains" and his other songs have earned him latitude, though, in my book. Anybody who can write a good song about the Mandelbrot Set has stored up good geek karma in heaven.

      Washington DC delenda est.