How online streaming services change the entertainment industry


Photo courtesy of the Business Insider

Will Kanny

Twenty years ago, tv and movie lovers flocked to video DVD stores just as Blockbuster or watched their favorite shows and movies on the DVR. However, today all fans have easy access to vast content libraries at their house for a small monthly subscription. This all started once Netflix changed and developed its business model and changed the industry, causing Blockbuster to go out of business and make the DVR less important to television consumers. 

Netflix started to gain popularity, which seemingly caused the traditional television distributors, like Walt Disney and Warnermedia, to rethink its television output strategy. The conventional television distributors were cautious at first to abandon cable television because it was a massive source of income, however seeing Netflix’s success and the demise of cable television, they began to pivot to streaming. This has resulted in many streaming services launched in the past few years, including Disney+, HBO Max, NBC Peacock, along with Netflix. 

The first-ever streaming service, Netflix, has revolutionized the television media by transforming how we watch television and creating a golden era of content. Remember watching commercials? Netflix has gifted us a life without commercials and has continued to push the boundaries of streaming. Netflix produces its original content and streams third-party shows (shows licensed to them). Netflix has developed hit originals like Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, and many others. In fact, Netflix spent 15 billion dollars on content in 2019, and it was estimated before the Coronavirus that they were going to spend more than 17 billion dollars on content in 2020. 

On November 12th, 2019, Disney launched its streaming service called Disney+, and now more than a year later, the streaming service is an astounding success. Disney+ launched its streaming service with two scripted shows, The Mandalorian and High School: The Musical: The Series, both becoming popular. However, The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda are both big reasons why Disney+ has been able to gain more than 70 million subscribers in the first year. Once Disney+ first released, the streaming service has failed to release more original content onto the service except for a few shows that have not been as popular as The Mandalorian. 

HBO Max has been around for about six months, and it has done a terrific job of getting great content; however, it failed to have gained the same scale of the number of subscribers that Disney+ has. HBO Max has all the DC Universe, Studio Ghibli, Cartoon Network, and HBO content you will ever need. They also have famous comedy series that has been exclusively streaming on HBO Max, including Friends, The Big Bang Theory, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Young Sheldon. HBO Max’s goal was to create a powerhouse of streaming, which they have successfully done by branching out to other demographics like kids and teens and their existing branch of demographics that were adults. 

NBC Peacock is paving a new way in the streaming market by creating a premium content ad-free service. However, it is one of the most confusing streaming services out there with their separate price tiers and the service layout. NBC Peacock has three tiers, including a free ad-based service with most original content and some exclusives are not available. The second tier allows you to watch more content with fewer ads but cannot stream originals for $4.99. The third tier allows you to watch everything, including originals, for no ads for $9.99. The layout of their streaming service is confusing since if you are not a paid subscriber, you might not be able to watch all the content, which is annoying and confusing. However, a revolutionizing aspect of their streaming service is their ideas for streaming channels, making the subscriber less prone to spend a lot of time picking what to watch. They will also be stealing a few shows off Netflix, potentially hurting the king of streaming, including Parks and Rec and The Office. 


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