Business Development Entertaintment

Streaming Balkanization

2020 has heralded a further maturing and fragmentation of streaming content options. The era of TV content being delivered via a dedicated device such as a coax cable or a satellite dish is truly over. Everything is delivered your regular internet connection. It’s a tribute to the inventors of the IP protocol stack to make this possible.

Finally, Netflix is getting attacked from multiple directions. It’s both a exciting as well as a dizzying time for consumers. They have to figure out the right choice for themselves and in a few short months, a new one comes along. Let’s list the various choices today. We list the ad free offerings and non Live TV options only.

ProviderCost /monthContent
Netflix$9-$19 based on number of screens per account Independent. Features content from most studios and spends $ to create original content
Amazon PrimeCost included in Prime membership of $12/month. For simplicity let’s attribute $9 as Prime VideoPart of Amazon. Features content from most studios and spends $ to original content. Also allows content from HBO to be streamed by adding the channel for $15/month. Not sure if all content from HBO Max will be available in this platform
Hulu $12 (the ad free version)Part of Disney now.
Disney+$7Content from Disney Studios only
ESPN+$13Part of Disney. Sports programming only
HBO Max$15Part of AT&T now. HBO is the original content producer
Peacock$10Offering from NBC Universal. Only content from NBC Universal studios
Apple TV+$5Part of Apple. Requires a separate hardware device that connects to your TV. The rest don’t require it.
Streaming Options compared

Except Netflix, the other streaming platforms are part of a bigger organization. Netflix and Amazon Prime have a global reach featuring original language content from various countries.

Cable TV invented the model of offering packages of channels. Streaming has disrupted that and forced the customer to go to various destinations to piece together the content for themselves. In addition, one has to fire up and interact with different interfaces and it’s quirks.

Based on the pricing today. it costs a family about $100/month if they want to satisfy demands of all the viewers in their household.

Can we expect consolidation in this space? It doesn’t seem likely in the next few years given the entrenched positions of the players at the moment.

My prediction is that HBO Max gets spun off from AT&T and gets acquired by Netflix.

Overall, I think it will be a big battle between Disney and Netflix.

Entertaintment Gaming

AC GameTime

Guest article for this blog from my daughter Pooja Krishnan, who is sheltering in sofa with her favorite game.

More than a decade ago, my sister and I got two Nintendo 2DS consoles, an upgrade from our old Gameboy. Super Mario and Animal Crossing were our staples – we played for hours on end until my sister’s DS actually split in half. My personal favorite was Animal Crossing: Wild World – I would get absorbed into the world encased in my DS. Animal Crossing: Wild World is a simulation game with no end goal and no set plot – one just lives amongst adorable anthropomorphized animals, catching fish and bugs and digging up fossils. Sure, you’re constantly in debt to a raccoon named Tom Nook, and if you don’t interact with your neighbors often enough, they leave town – but all in all, it’s a wholesome, nostalgic game.

Nostalgia drove me to purchase Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which was released earlier this month. The premise is, Tom Nook bought a deserted private island, where you move to, along with a handful of other animals. He essentially commands you to develop and maintain the island.

My initial impressions are that the graphics are beautiful and that the customization aspects of the game are remarkable. Literally everything in the game is customizable – after you achieve enough tasks and develop the island a bit, you get the ability to completely reshape the island, add cliffs, expand rivers, and more. The quality and ease of movement is far superior to Wild World (this is a given, however, as Wild World was released 15 years ago). Visits to mystery islands provided by “Dodo Airlines” provide an opportunity to go to islands with different fruit, trees, bugs, and fish; DIY crafting abilities allow you to create your own furniture and redecorate in a more personalized manner. 

Shell bed on Beach
Hanging out with friend in museum

To wit, here is some snark from AC

Better April to all of you!

All in all, the game is just as enthralling as Wild World was as I first started playing – stuck in quarantine, I’ve had the option to visit my friends’ islands over online play, develop my island, and explore the vast features that this game offers. –Pooja

Editors Note:

PS: Huge sales for AC:New Horizons. No better way to beat away the pandemic blues, as many people have figured out.