Netflix paved the way for the ultimate experience in streaming when House of Cards premiered in 2013. The concept of streaming services producing original content changed the game for Netflix and opened the door for other streaming services to take on big projects too. Hulu followed suit with series like the Handmaids Tale and Disney will introduce original content when it debuts its streaming service this fall. Apple is jumping in on the streaming market and the ads promoting their new original content include heavy hitting actresses like Jennifer Anniston and Reese Witherspoon. Making original content isn’t cheap, especially when A-list Hollywood is your star. Are the streaming giants going to be able to compete on price once big guns like Disney with seemingly unlimited funds join the market?
As streaming services have saturated the market, big network studios have started to respond by taking their content to their own platforms. This means that libraries of movies and shows are becoming increasingly divided up, with any company that owns the rights to something people want to watch launching its own service. Friends will be viewed on HBOMax in spring 2020. With the loss of Friends, will Netflix also lose its cult following customers?
Most streaming services have no contract giving customers the ability to change providers at any time. No long-term contracts mean that consumers can switch services when they find content they prefer on a different platfrom. Flip-flop, and flip back again. A Hollywood Reporter/Morning Consult poll found consumers are willing to spend $17-27/month on streaming services, an average of $21/month. Most streaming customers will choose 1-3 services. Who is going to make the cut for your household?