Streaming services compete to supersede TV subscriptions

By LINNEA GILLIGAN
On December 4, 2019

Photo courtesy of Anthony Quintano, Flickr

Winter isn’t the only thing around the corner; the end of the decade is near.

At the beginning of this decade, most people watched their television using cable. Now the new decade is arriving, and with it comes a war between multiple streaming services that will change the way we watch TV forever. 

First, streaming services such as Netflix, which offered viewers to choose what they want to watch when they want to watch it, took off. Soon after, cable declined. 

“The number of people canceling their pay-TV subscriptions in the U.S. hits a new high almost every quarter,” according to The Washington Post’s Lucas Shaw.  

Since 63% of America's population say they watch their favorite shows online, big media companies are creating their own streaming services in order to keep up with the times. 

Netflix used to sit on the throne with no competition. It was revolutionary with the vast number of movies and shows it contained, while also producing its own content. However, recently more companies started pulling their media from Netflix to start their own services, with one example being Disney.

Now, Netflix seems to offer less content and have more competition. For the standard plan, they increased the price from $7.99 in 2013 to $12.99 in 2019. Due to this, the number of users in 2019 plunged.

“If I was the one paying for my plan, I wouldn’t have it anymore. Stranger Things is one of the only things keeping it alive,” one Ramapo student said.

Hulu is another big name when it comes to streaming services. They mostly focus on older shows, yet ads are offered to its standard customers as another form of making money. Hulu also has to worry about media getting pulled from the new competition. 

One thing Hulu is incorporating which will really hurt cable is live sports, as live sports is one of the few things cable television is still surviving on.  Hulu is also currently being offered with other services such as Disney+ and Spotify Student.

Last month, Disney released their own streaming service called Disney+ which seems to be a huge success with over 10 million subscribers in their first day of release. It brought in a majority of satisfied customers, but what followed was worries among competitors. Disney+ only costs $6.99 a month, nearly half as much as Netflix.

Disney+ is full of family classics, feel-good shows, Marvel and Star Wars movies. As one of the biggest entertainment companies, Disney is simultaneously hurting existing streaming services and inciting more entertainment companies to want to enter the game.

In this coming decade, we are going to see even more streaming services. HBO is stepping up their game with HBO Max in 2020. This will be just like HBO with more movies and shows, like the hit show “Friends,” which will be removed from Netflix at the end of the year. 

NBC is also releasing their own streaming service in 2020 called Peacock, which is predicted to be free for those with cable. It will have new shows and old ones like the “The Office,” which will also be pulled from Netflix.

Can we keep up with all of these services? 

“Most surveys suggest the average customer will pay for three to five streaming services,” Shaw wrote. 

Some people will get the streaming service for just one series. 

Many customers bought HBO just because of Game of Thrones. Netflix seems to be surviving on Stranger Things. However, based on the trends already, I think Netflix and Hulu are near the end unless they produce and offer more content.


lgilliga@ramapo.edu

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