Streaming video has been a godsend. I ditched cable for PlayStation Vue three and half years ago and never looked back. PlayStation Vue is now defunct, great job managing that service Sony, and I replaced it with YouTube TV. Streaming channels are not any cheaper than cable for me because of data caps. The money I saved now goes to paying the monthly fee of having unlimited internet. The cable companies will get you one way or another. But cutting the cord does have added perks. Specifically, unlimited DVR, you can watch on any device and no stupid cable boxes are needed. But this article isn’t about that. It’s about all the other non-live TV streaming services.
Netflix started streaming in 2007. It was a convenient way to get all your movies, TV shows, and comedy specials all in one place for a low price. But then everyone else saw how profitable it was and they wanted in. We are now inundated with streaming video services. There’s Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, CBS All Access, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu and there’s probably more. I’m not counting all the live TV service providers as they serve a purpose. Competition is good there. It works for live TV providers because they are all offering roughly the same thing. It’s the extra channels or the DVR or the pricing that determines which provider you pick. It doesn’t work with non-live providers because the TV shows and movies are exclusive to only them. Meaning they made their own monopolies. If I wanted to watch five shows, I may need to pay for five different providers. Who the hell wants to do that?
Disney+ is particularly head-scratching because it signed up so many subscribers so quickly. I’m not sure if customers realized that most of those movies were on Netflix. They willingly volunteered to pay almost twice as much for the same exact content. There’s also a better way to watch Disney movies. Ditch cable, subscribe to YouTube TV, and record all the Disney movies that air. You’ll be able to watch them for nine months. Inevitably they’ll air again during that time, in which case you have them for another nine months. Sure they have commercials but you can easily fast forward through them. Disney+ does have original content. But how many High School Musicals and Marvel spin-offs do you need? The only exclusive thing that seems worth watching is The Mandalorian. But you can wait until all the episodes drop, sign up for the month, watch them and then cancel.
Netflix had a monopoly for years and their prices were kept low. The only people who benefit from this streaming competition are the studios. Because providers are in an all-out bidding war to secure popular shows like Friends and The Office. Netflix had to pay 100 million just to keep Friends for one more year. That’s 70 million more than what they normally pay for it.  Who do you think will inevitably have to pay for that? That’s right, you will. In the form of subscription price hikes. All because you willingly signed up for all these pointless services.