In 2007, Netflix expanded their movie distribution brand by introducing its streaming service, thus beginning a new era of television. With the ability to watch their favorite shows at any given time online, people began flocking from pay-television to the much more accessible streaming media. While initially the advent of streaming was a boon for television and movie buffs, the now plethora of services has resulted in the whole platform losing its luster.
When it was only a two-horse race between Netflix and Hulu, streaming media was in its golden age. Nearly everything someone wanted to see was available with just one or two subscriptions. With over a dozen services nowadays, it is more difficult to find all the content that one might want to see, with companies like Disney and FOX claiming much of their content from Netflix to make their own streaming services. Also, most companies claim exclusive streaming rights for content, resulting in people having to get multiple services to see their preferred content.
With the influx of streaming services, some companies have capitalized on this by providing packages of services together. The irony is that streaming was supposed to be the end of cable, but with every company now having their own streaming service, bundling has returned, but now it’s online instead from a box. What was initially a convenient alternative to watching media, streaming has now become the very thing people reviled in the first place.
With the multitude of platforms and limited overlap between them, streaming media has now become an online version of cable, which is an improvement, but far from the revolution it should have been.Underrated – Daniil Ivanov
There is an overwhelming number of streaming services that appear on my Roku and Apple TV at home. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney Plus, WWE Network, Sling TV and more sit on the screen and hold more content than I could ever watch. If I don’t want to watch TV, I can listen to Spotify or watch countless hours of YouTube for free.
Though it seems to be an overabundance, I have to recall no more than a few years ago when my family would pay much more to have 200 or so channels that we would never watch. I do not need the golf channel, nor do I ever watch Telemundo or ESPN3.
However, Sling gives me most of the channels that I used to watch, while Netflix and Amazon and Disney provide me with an at-home cinema experience whenever I want. For the same price as my washing machine or dishwasher, I can have a TV that covers most of my living room wall—a feat that seemed wild a decade ago—and watch in luxury.
Growing up, I could never watch pro-wrestling’s biggest shows because they were behind a $60 pay-per-view pay wall that my parents would never pay for. Now, however, all content is on their streaming service. DAZN also provides a similar service, streaming all kinds of combat sports.
If you compare the cost, ease and quality of media nowadays thanks to digital streaming compared to our options in the past, there is no doubt that what we have now is far superior to what we grew up with, and having streaming services is underrated.