Opinions And Ramblings By Adam Kmiec On All Things

We Are At Peak Streaming Services

Source: https://www.indiewire.com/2019/06/too-many-streaming-services-television-decentralization-1202149596/

Go back 5 – 10 years ago, when “cord-cutting” first burst on to the scene and entered the zeitgeist. The promise to consumers was simple – more options, more screens, and only pay for what you want. Utopia if you will. Sounded awesome. At that point, we had, depending on your point of view, 3 major players:

  1. Netflix: The granddaddy of streaming services.
  2. Amazon Video: Ever growing, but only worthwhile if you’re an Amazon Prime member. It wasn’t until last year that Amazon Video was even available on AppleTV.
  3. HGO Go: The first big-time “traditional” player to enter the streaming wars.

Gosh, things were simpler back then. Certainly, the decision was simpler. You either paid $X to Comcast for local channels, basic cable, and premium channels…or you paid Comcast for local channels and basic cable, buy you chose Netflix or HBO Go as your streaming partner for premium content.

Over the last two years, the explosion of streaming service options are at a point where it’s impossible to understand the total cost and the decision to make. In the last 30-days alone, we’ve seen the launch or announcement of AppleTV+, Disney+, and Peacock. Additionally, in the last year or so, add in ESPN+ and Bleacher Report Live.

Here’s where we stand today:

Netflix$15.99
Amazon Video$8.99
AppleTV+$4.99
Disney+$6.99
Hulu$11.99
HBO Max$14.99
Showtime$10.99
Starz$8.99
Cinemax$9.99
YouTube Premium$11.99
CBS All Access$5.99
Monthly Total$111.89

That’s a lot of services, account setups, and monthly recurring bills.

So what about just local channels and basic cable? Monthly that’s $93.49 (normal price) at Comcast. If you elected to leverage the streaming services for premium content and Comcast for local and basic cable, your monthly combined total would be $275.37.

For comparison, going all-in with Comcast for local, basic, and premier channels would be $148.49. Regardless of how you slice and dice the list of streaming services, what is clear – the idea that cord-cutting was a significant cost saving, is simply not true anymore.

In 2004, Barry Schwartz authored, ‘The Pradox of Choice“. This is my favorite passage:

“Learning to choose is hard. Learning to choose well is harder. And learning to choose well in a world of unlimited possibilities is harder still, perhaps too hard.”

Make no mistake – choice can be great. Choice can be helpful. Choice can be liberating. But, when we are at peak choice, it’s difficult, if not impossible to choose well.

My only question – when will we enter the phase of streaming services, where they give the TV away, in exchange for singning a contract of X years?