The research prompt is as follows:
Only a few years ago, streaming video was touted as the savior technology that would free audiences from the bloated bundles and spiraling fees of cable TV . “Cord cutters” were going to be able to watch anything, anytime, for way less money. How is the audience’s understanding of the streaming video environment changing as the number of streaming services grows? How are consumers likely to deal with multiple streaming bills? Which of the streaming services is likely to prosper, and why? Consider its business model, its track record in the entertainment business, its access to content, and its existing user base. What provider will ultimately win the streaming wars: Netflix, Disney, YouTube, Apple, Hulu or AT&T (which has Warner Media and HBO)?
Over the last decade, there has been a paradigm shift from traditional to digital media especially with the advent of stream platforms. This has set a firm foundation for social media trends and internet movements such as the famous cord-cutters. Although there a huge controversy surrounding the perception and attitude of these streaming networks, there is no doubt that streaming video has spawned the future of video production. This paper explores the evolution and genesis of the audience’s perception and understanding of the ever-changing streaming video landscape. Looking at case studies of consumers operating multiple streaming bills to draws insight on which streaming services have the potential to grow and reach the masses in the grass root areas.
The audience’s understanding of the streaming video environment changes as the number of streaming services grows
The 21st has been marked as a significant rise of stream services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. Most streaming services are a product of technological innovation and invention to cater to the growing needs of the audience. Another primary goal of the introduction of the streaming platforms was to eradicate cable TV’s major network to narrow down the cost of consumption. Although the streaming services are in the primary stages it has made tremendous efforts towards uprooting cable TVs. With the continuous technological advancement, the stream services have diversified and created multiple platforms to cater to the needs of the audience (Konnor). This has become an instrumental concept in the growth and development trajectory of streaming videos. In this regard, the audience has become more receptive and accommodating of the diversification of the streaming services. A significant percentage of the audience’s flawed mentality is perceived by the audience as the savior technology that would free them of the bloated bundles and spiraling coverage fees of cable TV. This is mainly because of the diverse, convenient, and readily acceptable features that these streaming platforms provide for the user. As long as the users have stable internet connections, viewers can access a wide range of entertainment. Also, streaming services are ad-less and offer instant tap-of-button content for cheaper prices. With this many viewers are willing and ready to pay for the services. This represents a symbolic improvement compared to when the first streaming platform was launched. There is a notable change that has propelled the opinions, perception, and attitude of the viewers to scalable heights. Today, a significant percentage of the US population is likely to pay for a Netflix subscription than for cable TV. People value the freedom to control their source of entertainment. This is evident in the rapid growth of streaming services over the last decade. The streaming industry has launched more than 110 different streaming platforms with immense coverage of live TV. International TV, sports, reality shows, movies, series, etc. (Konnor).
With the advent of highly segmented streaming services designed to suit the interest passion of the viewers, there is an increased need for viewers to capitalize on a niche. As a result, the audience will embrace and acknowledge the streaming services that provide in-depth, comprehensive content such as documentaries to stay up to date with the recent news. With time viewers become more affiliated with brands that have resourceful and insightful content to keep the viewers entertained. Segmenting the entertainment content plays a crucial role in shaping the mindsets of the viewers. Access to unlimited information at the tap of the button fuels the interest of the audience. Viewers are eager to unveil more information about the subject therefore will renew their subscriptions on the streaming services.
Multiple streaming bills
With more streaming services available in the market, showcasing similar content at different parameters, there is a high probability that viewers will subscribe to more than one streaming service. However, there is a growing concern about the customer’s ability to main multiple paid subscriptions. According to an Amphere Analysis study, a significant percentage of US SVOD households will cancel numerous stream services rather than increase their spending habits in the platform (Amy 1). Currently, it is fairly easy for viewers to cancel their subscription with the streaming service without accruing any penalties. Furthermore, it is also easy to set up a streaming account especially with dominant streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO. Besides, the platforms offer a monthly offer before jumping into the paid subscription. As the result, the streaming industry is expected to experience a higher churn of viewers coupled with a large number of people sampling their subscriptions. With the numerous streaming services available in the US, a large population of people is constantly signing up and trying at their convenience. Currently, 47% of the US population is frustrated with the increasing number of streaming platforms (Bethany 1).
Streaming services expected to prosper
Although venturing into the streaming industry is relatively easy ensuring the success and growth of the streaming services is a formidable task. However, Disney+ is ranked as one of the fastest-growing streaming services in the industry. With its inception in November 2019, the streaming platform is expected to take the industry by storm. Although Disney is relatively new in the streaming service it boasts a large network of franchises such as Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars that are famous for their impeccable shows and movies. As a result, licensing these shows, movies, and programs under one umbrella on a paid subscription will upscale the revenue and profit bracket as well as gain a competitive advantage over other streaming services in the region. In the preliminary stages, Disney reorganized its entertainment business to set up a rigid streaming service a critical consumer model to Disney’s future (Frank 1). This streaming strategy’s main aim is to provide quality content, targeted distribution, and accelerate corporate complexity. Under this new streaming strategy, Disney will operate on a more customer-centric business model that focuses on accelerating its direct-to-consumer strategy. With only one year of operation, the streaming service has accrued more than 60 million subscribers. Digital enthusiasts project that the company will have 70million subscribers by 2024. This explosion is attributed to the low subscription fee and access to a wide range of high-rated movies compared to services such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon (Frank 1).
According to Statista, Netflix is expected to maintain an unwavering competitive edge in the next five years. The company is expected to gain more than 219 million subscribers worldwide by 2024 a 38% increase to its existing subscriber list. The streaming service will remain, market leader, while its lead competitor Amazon prime Video trailing by some margin, holding a quarter of the SVOD market. Nonetheless, Disney+is projected to grow exponentially to become a rival in the streaming wars. Figures from Statista suggest that Disney will gain 8% of the market.
In surmise with the continuous technological advancements, the streaming services are expected to increase at a higher speed and scale. Therefore it is of paramount importance for digital companies to capitalize on changing the mindset of the target audience.
Amy, He. More Video Streaming Options Won’t Change Consumer Behavior. June 2019. https://www.emarketer.com/content/more-video-streaming-options-wont-change-consumer-behavior.
Bethany, Guerrero. 47% of Consumers Think There Are Too Many Streaming Services to Manage. March 2019. The Economics Driving the Streaming Industry.
Frank, Pallotta. Disney to overhaul its entertainment business with focus on streaming. October 2020. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/12/media/disney-reorganization-streaming/index.html.
Konnor, Emster Von. The Economics Driving the Streaming Industry. 21 October 2019. https://econreview.berkeley.edu/the-economics-driving-the-streaming-industry/.