idea #040: Streaming a la Carte
Is streaming going the way of cable? History always repeats itself.
Wire cutting has become a popular thing. It’s no longer a minority who has jumped out of the cable game.
But now, we are seeing even more fragmentation, again, within the streaming world.
There were the big players; Netflix and Hulu, but now every network heavyweight is entering the market with their flavor of the streaming subscription, a la Disney, which will further fragment the market.
So now, as they say, history repeats itself, just at a faster cycle than in previous eras. Within another blink of an eye, there will be 20 different streaming services, and to get something equivalent to cable, you will need to Frankenstein 5 of these together costing not just a cool $70/month, but now your options are no longer aggregated - bad UX.
What’s the alternative?
If you’re anything like me, I don’t need a million options of shows and B movies. Give me the ‘Netflix originals’ and a few series favorites and that would pretty much suffice. So why do I need to pay for all the shit I’m not interested in?
Again. Same problem as cable. You watch a few channels but pay for 150. And there is no goldilocks option either.
Side note: we just renewed our internet package with our local service provider. Now, we just wanted the same deal, even would pay a few bucks more a month for it, but of course, it is not an option. So, we could either 1) get the entire bundle and pay through the teeth. 2) get a faster speed package and pay through the teeth, or 3) get the faster speed package with a home security system for slightly less than option 2). I know this was a classic example of behavioral economics at work, but it’s still irritating.
Ok. Getting to it then. Why can’t all of this function as an a la carte style content subscription to anything you want? One ring to rule them all, a single platform that can tap into these content generators so you can have a few things from Netflix, a handful of movies from Hulu, and if you’re a Friends-aholic, well, that’s going to be on Disney soon.
It’s the equivalent to the ‘pay as you go’ model for cell phones to an extent.
Now the economics may not work, as this business model would hinge on these partnership agreements with streaming services, but it could be a vector into an untapped market segment - those who want just a few select things, or a pay as you go model who thought the $10/month for Netflix was out of reach.
I’m guessing there’s a way to make it all work - there’s certainly a gnawing pain on the horizon.