Gas, water, phone bill… Netflix. Streaming services have fast become an unnegotiable essential for TV and film lovers. Netflix currently has nearly 140million subscribers with 23% of adults in the US logging on daily – together we watch 1 billion hours of videos a week on the platform.
The impact on the more traditional PBSs as well Pay TV channels such as Netflix has been clear. Average broadcast TV viewing time has decreased by 15.7% since 2012 causing a knock on effect of declining revenue streams, including a significant drop in TV advertising income.
Watching Netflix’s undeniable success, some of the bigger tech and movie moguls are now champing at the bit to get in the ring. The likes of Apple TV have been there for a while but let’s be honest, they’re not quite the household name Netflix or even Amazon are. However, it’s had a makeover and an extreme strategy reboot. Apple TV has spent $1bn creating its own original content, expected to be released later this year, in order to compete.
Then there’s Disney who, seemingly unable to leave any section of the media industry unmarked by its logo, is set to release its own streaming service at an event in the very near future (April 11th to be exact). If original content is the seller for you then this would be the one to watch. This streaming service will be focusing on the traditional family movies it made its name with as well as building on a number of the franchises it’s acquired over the years, such as Marvel and Star Wars. It will also be offering paid access to its latest releases such as Captain Marvel – although don’t expect VIP treatment, you’d be getting them the same time as everyone else. It’s a safe bet, harnessing one of the world’s biggest audiences and sucking them into a subscription black hole, but why play it risky when you’ve already cracked the code for success?
Of course, should Disney’s own venture into online streaming flop miserably, its infamous acquisition of Fox last year means that it would still have a clown-sized foot in the industry door with the likes of Hulu (which is safe as long as the Kardashians remain relevant).
Not one to be left out, WarnerBros is also teasing a potential streaming service of its own following its recent takeover. Whilst we’re not sure exactly what, when, or even how it will be putting its own spin on things, we do know that it will be incorporating the company’s existing platform HBO… a platform that, I think is safe to say, has made a pretty good impression so far.
Whilst these are the biggest, (we think) most exciting new additions to the party, this list is by no means exhaustive and there are plenty of great ones out there – including smaller, more niche ones working on making a name for themselves such as Dust or BroadwayHD. However, the key with all of these discussed here is their focus on original content, obviously the redistribution of revenue in the media industry as a result is a major game changer but the increasing number of feature films bypassing theatres as well as hit TV series released by these streaming companies has the potential to turn the industry on its head… but that’s a discussion for another day…