Will the Streaming Giants start stomping on the same ground?
As you might have seen over the past week or so, some of the streaming giants are slowly starting to huddle together for warmth. The question is, who will get burnt in the process?
With the news of Comcast and ViacomCBS launching the subscription service, ‘SkyShowtime’ in over 20 European territories, the future of the streaming giants is in question. This new service, which we can expect to launch in 2022, will encapsulate content from Showtime, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Paramount+ Originals, Sky Studios, Universal Pictures and Peacock – now that’s an offer many will not be able to refuse. We’ve already seen Disney bundling their popular services; Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, which saw some great success. So, will the other giants follow in the pursuit to appease streamers, or will the likes of Amazon, Apple and Warner Bros. steer clear?
This year has already seen some great changes within the Video on Demand sector, in terms of strategies and the constant evolution in how consumers are consuming, and it seems that won’t be slowing down anytime soon, despite life slowly getting back to normal. We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, a ‘winner-takes-all’ scenario is becoming more and more realistic when it comes to one lucky company getting to hold the umbrella for all of the streaming services.
With hundreds of streaming services available, how could one complain? We can get hold of endless hours of fantastic content and we are being fed well. However, they do say the food doesn’t taste as good when you are cooking it yourself, and we find the same problem when we have to spend hours of our time researching the best programmes available to stream, only to find that they are spread out over multiple services at different times. We’ve seen the likes of Screenhits TV try to rectify this issue by bundling our streaming services in one place, but even then it is for the select few apps that have agreed to do so, and we don’t seem to be buying it because there is still the issue of having to pay for multiple services. The frustration of app hopping is getting increasingly large as time goes on, and it’s going to come to a head at one point or another.
Are the days of flicking between different streaming apps slowly coming to a halt?
Let’s say it did. You now have a few apps where you can search for all the content that your heart desires. The floodgates have now been opened and you want to go for a swim. How much is that going to cost? That likely wouldn’t be a problem; some companies already having stated that they believe consumers will take on a bigger bill in return for more centralized content. Your content is now all in one place, but is the menu going to be too big to swallow? After all, too many options isn’t always an easy win. Whoever is holding the umbrella will have to make sure they have a killer UI, backed by some very clever algorithms to satisfy their users’ palettes.
But going back to the big question, how does this affect the individual streaming giants?
Bob Chapek, CEO of Disney, said that they saw a surprisingly low churn on the bundling of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, even more so than their individual services. He explained that this is due to the fact customers enjoy the price value when they are served up an incredible amount of content. So that’s good news, right? Well, we cannot ignore what might happen to studios such as Sony, who recently sold their new release title ‘Hotel Transylvania 4’, a $1 billion pound franchise, to Amazon Prime Video for tuppence ($100 million to be exact). The theatrical period was removed amidst fears that rising infections of the Delta variant would affect its release, but we think the bigger concern is whether this will become a regular occurrence. Perhaps it is the studios who will be left out in the rain whilst the streaming giants come together under one umbrella and take charge.
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