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.
|Netflix||$9-$19 based on number of screens per account||Independent. Features content from most studios and spends $ to create original content|
|Amazon Prime||Cost included in Prime membership of $12/month. For simplicity let’s attribute $9 as Prime Video||Part 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+||$7||Content from Disney Studios only|
|ESPN+||$13||Part of Disney. Sports programming only|
|HBO Max||$15||Part of AT&T now. HBO is the original content producer|
|Peacock||$10||Offering from NBC Universal. Only content from NBC Universal studios|
|Apple TV+||$5||Part of Apple. Requires a separate hardware device that connects to your TV. The rest don’t require it.|
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.