Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Streaming wars

In the late 1960s, I saw TV for the very first time. Broadcasts were still in black and white. In the late 1980s, Dutch commercial TV stations started (Wiki). The competition between commercial and public broadcasters was tough. Some people predicted that TV was dead when Netflix arrived.

Today, the main competition is between fixed-time TV (commercial and public) stations and flex-time video streaming services. In 2010, Netflix was the first American service. Its international expansion was very, very rapid. The Netherlands was already added in 2013 (Wiki).

Other video streaming services followed only after some 10 years as businesses either did not believe in video-on-demand, or were alarmed by the staggering losses of Netflix. Moreover, Netflix kept monthly fees low for long. This benefited their user volume and threatened newcomers.

Today, several American media write about streaming wars. These wars are about (i) exclusive content, (ii) growth in users, (iii) price increases of monthly fees, (iv) preventing free ID sharing. Apart from Netflix, most streaming services are struggling to break-even (financially).

Recently, I have cancelled my Amazon Prime Video subscription following a substantial monthly price increase. Following a recent ID sharing crackdown, Netflix has become unavailable to me. I don’t mind because the quality of the available content of both was lousy.

The solution to the streaming wars is slowly becoming visible. The essence of the solution is already inside this Quora question: Is there any service combining Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc. into one subscription? Actually, there is indeed one. The UK offers Sky-Q since 2016.

In the Netherlands, the cable company Ziggo (Internet + TV) appears to be building a copy of that British set-top box. Soon, SkyShowtime will become available within the Ziggo subscription rather than through a separate app (source). This feels like a win-win situation.

My ideal solution would be 1 subscription of video minutes, covering several video streaming services (eg, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Netflix). That would finally allow relevant and quality content. Adding private subscriptions for those video streaming services is a waste of (my) money.

Video Killed The Radio Star (1981) by The Buggles
band, lyrics, video, Wiki-band, Wiki-song

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

Note 2: Axios, 16 December 2023: Netflix wins streaming wars


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