For many consumers of film and television, Netflix is the go-to service. For just one reasonably priced subscription, they can have instant access to all their favorites TV shows, series and movies, and a range of original shows and films not available anywhere else.
Big-name films and series from Marvel, Disney and Pixar, and hit shows such as The Office and Friends are just a click away for Netflix users. But that could all be about to change as some new big-hitters including Disney prepare to enter the streaming marketplace.
Disney about to launch streaming platform
The Disney+ streaming service is due to launch in late 2020 and with many Disney, Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar films expected to switch exclusively to the service over time. This will mean customers will have to choose between which provider to subscribe to or pay more to enjoy both services. And in less than two years’ time, the number of services could increase further as Warner, NBC and others look to enter the market. That’s on top of existing rival services such as Amazon Prime and Hulu.
Netflix still leading the way
Netflix currently enjoys a loyal customer fan base dominated by a generation who love to watch their favorite shows on their devices from wherever they are. However, geo-specific distribution rights mean that customers who watch their Netflix account in a different country will have a different choice of shows. The other option is to use a service that enables them to watch as if they were in their home country as described in this article here. For most customers, this minor inconvenience is of little consequence as Netflix serves them a feast of top quality streaming.
But faced with less choice for the same price and the prospect of having to part with more money to access all the shows they want, customer satisfaction with streaming could be about to decline. But what will the consequences be?
How will customers react?
Some customers will pay the extra while others may drop their current provider and switch to another. And there will be some who may ditch streaming services altogether due to the confusion of what programs are where. The hope for the customer is that the new model proves less profitable than the current licensing system forcing the networks to make their shows available to rivals providers. Or to drastically reduce their prices to encourage people to sign up to more than one provider.
To Subscribe or Not To Subscribe?
Much like with pay-tv sports providers in the past, the clamor for competition means more expense for the consumer. However, there has to be a tipping point where the balance is eventually redressed. Netflix currently has a huge advantage and those chasing are not guaranteed to close the gap. Some, like Disney (owners to the rights to the Star Wars universe), can afford to try and force their way up the field but not all will survive the streaming wars. In the end, it is the customer who will be left standing and they will ultimately decide the fate and direction of future TV streaming.