Surviving The Stream War

If you had a gun to your head and had to choose a streaming service which one would you choose? I’d choose Crackle. Just kidding.

Ok so let’s talk.

Netflix is now 15.99 a month. They’re the largest and longest running streaming service to date. In a world where Cable is virtually dead, big networks have opted for their own stream services. On the killing fields the contenders square off. There’s: Hulu, DC Universe, HBO Now, Apple Plus, Disney+ the list goes on ad infinitum.

But here in lies a very rudimentary issue. While essentially giving up the familiarity of cable for more affordability and ease of use? People are being forced to ala carte their way into separate bills for separate the streaming devices. Cutting the cord is still a much more viable option than keeping a cable bill. But what could the next ten to twenty years mean for the competitive nature of the industry?

Is it simply just another capitalist ponzi scheme? The shift from cable to streaming has virtually wiped the landscape clean. Even brick and mortar stores that used to pride themselves on renting and selling have all gone the way of the dinosaur. Whereas with traditional cable television and telephone packages, people could one stop shop and pay for their bill. Streaming services are not doing anything novel. But they are rearranging the way media is consumed in modernity.

So what do these various streaming services have to offer? What sets them apart from each other?

Perhaps the most to gain from offering the cord cutters a more traditional model of what television used to be like is Apple Tv+. I’ve taken the liberty of mentioning them first because as a company they have gone all out with using star power to try and attract the right kind of attention to their streaming service. While there are some note worthy shows, at this point I feel like Apple TV+ is still building a catalogue of viable quality programming. Perhaps in the years to come they will be more of a driving force in that consumers will opt out of Netflix simply to see if the grass is greener on the other side.

For many Netflix is still the de facto go to for best all around. Featuring many award winning shows and originally curated content, Netflix is definitely a step ahead of its competition. But its price point of 15 dollars for a premium is a point of contention for many who are seeking affordable price points for their streaming applications.

Then there’s Amazon with its silent domination on the shipping industry. One would think that the content they create from a competition standpoint would be subpar comparative to Netflix. But think again. Such shows as: The Boys, Man in the High Castle, Carnival Row, Expanse, JCVD and Vinland Saga plus a slew of great movies round out a catalogue sincerely worth binging out to. Plus one cannot deny the value a consumer gets from Amazon Prime. There’s the free shipping for packages. As well as the free twitch prime.

coming in red hot and on the heels of these two is Hulu which as of writing; has been acquired by Disney under the merger that effected not only big name film studios like Fox, but also affected intellectual properties underneath the Fox 20th Century this is probably a post for another day but these include properties such as the X-Men all the way down to horror films like Aliens and Predator. Could we eventually see an ultra violent Predator show much in the same vein as the Mandalorian? Or how about an Aliens show with the sensibilities of the Twilight Zone?  

Regardless of Hulu & Disney’s possibilities, the margin for being the best, may not be as clearly defined as of now. HBO Now formerly Go. Is probably the biggest competitor to the big three. Brand wise HBO features arguably the most critically acclaimed catalogue on the market and for a relatively competitive price at 14.99. HBO has always been a go to with colossal hits like: Game of Thrones and Westworld. The fact that as a subscriber you can catch up with older more high end shows that weren’t available 10-15 years ago is yet one of many reasons why HBO stands a cut above the rest. HBO even with its Now application seems to be at its best when used as a modular add-on to one of the larger streaming brands.

So which one are you going to choose? Are you more predisposed to be in a long term committed relationship with Netflix? Do you have a preference for Hulu or Amazon Prime? Or are you more like me and just bum streaming subscriptions from friends and family? Definitely let us know your comments questions and concerns at the bottom.

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