The Rise (And Possible Fall?) of Streaming Services

To clarify, I am a huge movie whore so this somewhat-ranty post would really be listed as a first-world problem. Though, to be honest, I’m less about being outraged than I am about pointing out what’s actually going on here and how this vicious cycle repeats itself. But I digress… 

I remember about, oh, thirteen years ago when we tried the Netflix subscription to get DVDs in the mail. I was thrilled with the service. How cool! Now I could watch movies without buying them, since video rental stores were all closing down and all we had was regular TV with bunny ears. 

Even better when we tried the streaming service Netflix offered. There wasn’t much to choose from at first, but the idea of actually staying home to watch a new movie without worrying about driving or fighting for the last copy was awesome.

Over the years, we tried new streaming services coming out like Hulu and I was saving so much money not having to try and rent or run out and buy movies and TV shows I wanted to watch. This was the golden ticket. My already extensive DVD collection began to collect dust. Streaming was it!

I convinced so many people that they should drop cable/satellite and save money through streaming like we were. For a time, I was right. But times have changed again.

Just like mail order services and kiosks putting video stores out of commission, streaming services did in fact put a hurting on cable and satellite services. Now, this is just conjecture; I haven’t done a ton of research, but I bet my bottom dollar that networks began to suffer the most when that happened because they took a big hit. Why pay extra for Starz or HBO through your cable company when they contracted with Hulu to slap some of their more popular shows up there on streaming, and I already have Hulu? The networks’ solution? Make their own streaming service.

If anyone remembers when Disney+ first started up, they had tons of movies listed that wouldn’t be available until later dates, some even a year later. They had to wait until contracts with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc were up before they could yank it back for their own streaming service. Soon, everyone started doing this. Paramount, CBS, NBC, AMC, tons of regular channels now have their own streaming services. They may offer a few shows or movies for free but for the most part, you need a subscription. You need to pay.

I now find myself back at square one. I’m right back there when video rental stores were closing and I have to now buy movies I want to watch. Because let’s face it: Joe Blow typical blue collar guy cannot afford every streaming service out there. We are currently paying for seven services and paying the same price as cable. And I still find myself having to buy or rent because that new movie is not on any of the services I currently have. There are too damn many of them now. Full circle, baby.

I guess I’m just waiting for that new satellite/Netflix idea to come around. Eventually, people will stop using all these streaming services that cost so much and what will the networks do then? What will be the next way to collectively watch movies and TV without paying out the ass? Movie theaters are not an option since they have grown far too expensive. Any ideas on how the poor man can just enjoy some entertainment? Anyone?

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