Why Consumers Are Already Losing in the Streaming Wars

Variety | 7/18/2019 | Brian Steinberg
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Big media has inadvertently come up with a way to lasso cord-cutters.

As Walt Disney, NBCUniversal and AT&T’s WarnerMedia work furiously to stand out in the streaming-video arena, they are betting heavily on something that rivals like Netflix and Amazon can’t produce: decades of hit TV series to which the old-school entertainment companies ultimately control the rights. To keep watching some of their favorites, fans will have to pony up more dough for a wider selection of services.

Streaming - Wars - Consumers - Companies - World

In the early streaming wars, one could posit that it’s consumers who are losing: The companies are creating a new and complex world for TV watchers who love to binge.

“In the next few years, it is going to be an avalanche of consumer confusion and angst,” says Tim Hanlon, CEO of The Vertere Group, a media and marketing industry consulting firm. “The reality is that consumers will not have an endlessly elastic ability to pay for multiple streaming services over the long term — something a cyclically overdue economic correction will eventually put into stark relief.”

Janet - Mock - Netflix - Deal - Never

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Consider that in 2019, all a fan of on-demand video delights has to do to watch “The Office,” “Friends,” various CW dramas, sundry Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel films as well as a growing pile of original series not available anywhere else is to take out a subscription to Netflix. In just two years or so, they will have to buy four different services and likely pay much more for the same content.

NBCU - WarnerMedia - Days - Control - Assets

NBCU and WarnerMedia have in recent days asserted more direct control over some of their most popular assets. NBCU said in June it would take over “The Office” in 2021 and add it to a streaming-video service slated to launch next year. WarnerMedia last...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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