Thoughts on Streaming Services: 2024 Edition

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Streaming services have revolutionized content delivery, sending linear media companies into a panic as they watch traditional cable services decay. "Cutting the cord" is a common practice these days, but the streaming landscape isn't perfect. We're a decade into streaming so I wanted to share my thoughts on the state of new media: first impressions, second thoughts, and the third degree!

  • Netflix is king thanks to having first mover advantage, and making smart financial moves over the past six months, but Netflix's content is unremarkable. Their recent wins are USA's Suits and content licensed from Max...they need to do better...
  • The biggest loser in the current streaming landscape is the sports fan. Want to watch American Football? You need YouTubeTV, Peacock, and Amazon Prime. Soccer fan? You need Peacock, ESPN Plus, Paramount Plus, and then AppleTV Plus if you care about MLS. Being a live sports fan is really, really expensive.
  • The parent companies of HBO and Showtime killed their brands with "Max" and "Paramount Plus". HBO's brand name and fuzzy fade in are iconic; "Max" means nothing. Part of me died with this stupid brand change.
  • Streaming services lured us in with no advertisements but they've learned that the ad tiers generate more revenue. Now they're trying to price us out to get us to choose the cheaper, ad-driven tier. Smart business but I'll pay more to avoid the ads.
  • Apple has all the resources in the world but they treat their streaming service like everything else they do: offer an unremarkable product and skate off of name. Ted Lasso was good, as was Shrinking, but everything else is filler...
  • ...and charging for Killers of the Flower Moon during the holidays, then providing it for free once people are back to work, is an embarrassing money grab.
  • Amazon doesn't offer nearly enough in exclusive content. These tech companies are half in, half out.
  • Warner Brothers Discovery licensing their content, especially the Marvel Comic Universe IP, to Netflix because they need quick cash feels like a self-own. How do you grow Max by giving your best content to a better service?
  • AppleTV's hardware is insanely elegant to use, though I'm annoyed they didn't commit to their gaming offering. Roku still feels like a Super Nintendo in a N64 world.
  • The free streaming options these days are awesome if you don't want to spend money. YouTube, RokuTV, and Tubi provide loads of great content at no expense.
  • Disney Plus offer loads of great old movies but my kids rarely watch it -- they're busy watching cringe shows on Netflix...
  • One huge frustration is the lack of a "previous" button that cable remotes had. Navigating between channels in YouTubeTV is painful...
  • ...and to further improve the experience, it would be great if AppleTV and Roku would allow users to have two apps side by side; let us build our own multi-view.
  • Part of me wants to bin off all of my sports streaming services and simply use StreamEast...but the convenience is just too nice.

Agree or disagree? What did I miss? Let me know in the comments below!

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  1. Back in the cable days, sports was one of the providers biggest expenses but they were able to spread the cost amongst all of the subscribers, many of which weren’t watching. Now that it’s unbundled the true cost is showing.

  2. Yeah, I stopped watching traditional television (no matter what platform) a while back. Not worth it when there is original content from individual creators.

    Now I refuse to use any streaming services on principle. I used to have Netflix, but when the CEO was asked about backlash to a price hike they had done, he said “We have found that people say they will cancel, but then don’t, so I’m not worried.” Cancelled my account that very day.

    • Absolutely, the fragmentation of sports streaming is a nightmare for fans, making it a pricey endeavor to follow all your favorite sports. And the whole “Max” and “Paramount Plus” rebranding really did a number on HBO and Showtime’s legacy — it’s like they forgot what made them special. Plus, the push towards ad-supported tiers feels like a bait-and-switch after the promise of ad-free viewing.

  3. JDogg

    100% agree about sports streaming. What we want are “vertical” sports packages… But what we got is a bunch of horizontal ones.

    Tennis Channel *seems* like it should be a good idea, but the execution is terrible. They don’t offer anywhere close to all the tour-level events that even casual tennis fans would want to see, let alone hardcore fans.

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