The Future of Streaming


There’s been a lot of buzz in the on-demand video streaming industry concerning the arrivals of two “new” competitors.

Disney is going to rely on their loyal fans and past successes to get their new streaming service off the ground. The signs are there for all to see – Marvel and Disney will pull their shows and movies from Netflix and other streaming sites. All viewers can do now is wait as Disney finishes cutting ties with outside services and is given the go-ahead from the FCC to announce their new platform.

Apple will also be launching a new streaming service. The tech giant did not miss out on the memo that exclusivity catches the attention among audiences. Apple’s new service, AppleTV+ will have a original and exclusive content on launch – from Oprah Winfrey taking a hard look at sexual harassment in the workplace, to sci-fi cavemen learning to see. By far, the most ironic is “The Morning Show,” a drama based on a morning show – a sect of the industry streaming services like AppleTV+ are threatening to run out of business.

In my frank opinion, this will not do much in the face of Netflix’s business. Netflix has been touted as the superior streaming service by millennials because of its wide range of shows such as “Friends” and “The Office.” Although I am in the minority in my demographic, I have noticed a trend among millennials towards more nostalgic shows. Disney will do well in this regard, but I feel that still won’t do much towards the revenue of Netflix.

The biggest pull towards Netflix and other streaming sites is the price. The average cable subscriber is estimated to pay approximately $85 per month, and a lot of that money goes directly towards channels and companies the consumer couldn’t care less about. When Piedmont cut the cord, I switched to Hulu’s live TV service to keep up with the news. In that period, I was paying $30 per month for a wide swathe of bare channels covering an array of topics – although I was mainly sticking to the news section. If that’s not a competitive price, I don’t know what is.

I was in a unique position, I was focused on who could provide live broadcast services. The market suggests that is not a deal breaker for the majority of consumers that just want shows and movies on demand. Instead of paying for services you won’t utilize, streaming services provide a cheaper option that is more personalized.

I suspect these new services won’t have much of an impact on the market based on how tech markets seem to have worked since the 1980’s. The tech industry seems to have been dominated by up-and-coming individuals. This is an obvious weakness before Disney.

When you think of the video streaming industry, you think of new innovators like Netflix, Hulu, and Roku. Disney and Apple may have professionals able to gauge their competition, but new names provide innovation the older companies can’t provide.

I don’t think Disney or Apple will have any serious impact on the streaming market. They could easily pick up a profit, but these profits are likely to come from people already paying for a Netflix subscription – not necessarily people seeking an alternative.