Winning the Streaming Wars

Remember when we all were excited about “cutting the cable”? Those were the heady days, days of the future! It was an exciting time, and so many of us were here for it. The realities of the “Streaming Wars” soon sank in.

The streaming wars refer to the fierce competition between various streaming services to dominate the market by offering exclusive content and attractive pricing. The most notable players in this market include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Apple TV+, and Peacock, among others. Although the competition has led to increased innovation and diversity in content, the true cost of these services is starting to emerge, with consumers paying more for combined streaming services than for a basic cable package.

Initially, the streaming market was highly fragmented, with consumers subscribing to different services for different types of content. However, as the market grew and more players entered, the fragmentation gave way to consolidation, with streaming services bundling their offerings and raising prices. For instance, the popular Netflix Standard plan costs about $14 per month, while the basic Hulu plan costs about $6 per month. If a consumer wants to watch live sports, they may need to subscribe to ESPN+, which costs $6.99 per month. If they want to watch the latest movies, they may need to subscribe to HBO Max, which costs about $15 per month.

As a result, consumers are now paying more for combined streaming services than they would for a basic cable package, which was once the dominant mode of home entertainment. This has led to frustration among many consumers, who feel that the streaming wars have become more about profiting from content than delivering value to customers.

While I’m not going to go back to cable for anything other than internet service, I am also not going to be running consecutive accounts with multiple streamers. For years, we’ve had Amazon, Netflix, and Disney+. We only have Amazon at this point, and if I can convince my wife to do so, I would like to end our association with them as well.

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