Paulie’s Perspective: Streaming Wars Are Over

Streaming Wars Are Over

And so the war ends not with a bang but with a whimper, and of course a clamoring for commercials and money. Nobody is trying to beat anybody anymore, they just want ads in their streaming services, on top of your subscription rates.  I guess money wins out every time.

It used to be a Netflix or an Amazon Prime would brag about not having any commercials, about having the best content, original content, the best movies, the newest movies, all at our fingertips.  Now it’s a premiere tier that costs more money, or you can choose the tier for peasants with tons of commercials and still pay a subscription fee. Companies really do not care anymore. Maybe the resources are all tapped out. Maybe they overspent and most of the population has already chosen sides. Who knows. The point is the streaming platforms are done outdoing each other – and they want profits and they want them now.

Yes folks, after all the posturing, all the grandstanding all the “forget cable, come join us” rants,  the only thing that came out of all of this, is Netflix is not the winner.

Losing subscribers for two quarters in a row is a damaging thing for the streaming giant who once owned the land and was the company everyone wanted to push off the hill. Well, no one had to push, Netflix just kind of rolled off.

It also didn’t help Netflix that every single channel started it’s own streaming or online app where you could watch their shows.  peacock, Paramount+, AMC+, IFC, BBC, Showtime, STARZ, I mean the list is endless, so why give all your money to Netflix anymore?

HBOMAX is cancelling a lot of big budget projects for its streaming service, which is the opposite objective it had just a short time ago.  “We are not trying to win the streaming spending war” said David Zaslav, now CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, in charge of HBOMAX.  Before David, HBOMAX was making as much content as it can, as quickly as it can, not worrying about the cost. Now, it seems the winds have changed, the war is over, and it’s back to making money.

Disney added 14.4 million subscribers to Disney+, and is now introducing an ad-supported tier, while raising it’s ad-free option by $3 a month.

Netflix also, is debuting a lower priced option that will be ad-supported, something the company swore it would never ever do, so that’s a sign that the war is officially over.

With Disney and Netflix leading the way to this new business model of commercial free and commercial saturated streaming tiers, it looks like this will be the way the streaming services will carry on their business. Will it still be cheaper than cable after this transformation? My guess is it will equal out, both bills and commercial time. 

The wars are done, the “grow at any cost” mentality is officially over. Companies no longer mind having commercials in their streaming services to recoup their loses, and they are turning to bundles to still get that membership number. Disney-ESPN-Hulu, and HBO-Discovery being the biggest ones.  Poor Netflix is really looking like the loser now, because they just don’t have anyone to bundle with and can’t offer anything else besides their two tiers of streaming services.

As the streamers consolidate to save and make money, you may be asking yourself – isn’t this just like cable? A set of channels with commercials?  Why yes. Yes it is. How does that saying go: Everything new is old again, or something like that.  See ya next week!