Podcast

208 – The Streaming War

The Mythcreant Podcast
Most of us see streaming movies and shows as a way to relax after a hard day, but behind the scenes, streaming is anything but peaceful. In fact, a host of companies are gearing up for a full blown war over your streaming dollars, and the first shots have already been fired. Will this be good or bad for the consumer? How will it affect our precious spec fic content? That’s what we’re talking about this week, plus some speculation on what upcoming streaming shows will look like.

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Opening and closing theme: The Princess Who Saved Herself by Jonathan Coulton. Used with permission.

Show Notes:

Curiosity Stream

Amazon Lord of the Ring show

New content coming to streaming services

Star Trek: Discovery

All the Star Trek shows coming to CBS

Alex Kurtzman

Getting around region locking with a VPN

Qwikster

“The goal is to become HBO before HBO becomes us”

Netflix joins the MPAA

Netflix/Cannes Festival dustup

Google employees protest

Wheel of Time Show

Buffy Show

Dune Show

Welcome to Night Vale Show

Good Omens Show

Dark Crystal Prequel

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Comments

  1. Simeon

    You are glossing over a vital component of this dynamic. Sure, content plays a big part, but let’s look at the big players:

    Hulu is now owned by Disney, as will, of course, be Disney + as well.
    DC Universe is owned by WB.
    Amazon Prime is Amazon.

    All of these have other sources of revenue. Netflix is reliant exclusively on subscription, and to be frank, I don’t see how much further they can expand in the US, which is still the biggest streaming market. They are literal billions in debt, and as much legitimacy as their content might be getting, they still have very little to attract investment, because there aren’t real returns.

    For that reason, I predict that Netflix will actually be the first major casualty of the streaming wars.

    • Chris Winkle

      Yeah, I probably should have mentioned that the non-Netflix companies have other income streams they can use to subsidize their streaming business, and Netflix doesn’t. But personally, I’m still betting on Netflix. Amazon also took on huge amounts of debt back in the day to become the market leader in eCommerce, and it worked out very well for them.

      • Simeon

        That’s true, however Amazon was always selling goods. A store can keep expanding to an almost limitless capacity, and Amazon has. Netflix has more or less finished expanding in the US.

        • Chris Winkle

          I think Netflix’s strategy in the US is to dominate more free type and add content that’s in higher demand, allowing them to raise prices. At least, they are making the argument that there’s a lot of opportunity for growth in higher engagement amongst their current user base. I don’t know for sure that this is a good strategy, but with a new industry it’s easy to be caught up in an old mindset, and Netflix understands the streaming industry better than anyone else.

    • Roger

      Words of wisdom there Simeon.

      Netflix has popularity, but it needs to turn that popularity into profit. And fast.

      Streaming content needs to expand outside the US, which might be an issue. Europe is a pretty self-contained market.

      China is not a free country, so one would need to be complicit in censorship and other activities that would hurt your business elsewhere.

      In Russia and eastern Europe pirate streams are far more popular than legal ones. Why spend money to watch your fav series on a legal western website, when you can go to an abkhazian or adjarean website and watch all of them in HD for free, in Russian English or Georgian!

      Japan seems to be the best target, but the Japanese work long hours, read for long hours (even if a lot of it is light novels or manga, they still read more than western countries) or play games. They spend far less time watching TV as a result of all these other activities.

  2. Tifa

    I’m always excited to see each new podcast or article. Thank you for all your hard work!

    I won’t be getting Netflix anymore, because the price is getting a bit too high, so I guess I’ll look for another option. Or maybe I’ll just go read instead.

    PS Could you do an examination of the “abduction/kidnapping = romance” pitfall sometime? I feel like it’s something that doesn’t get addressed enough.

  3. Julia

    Back in the days of cable I groused that I didn’t want to pay a huge amount for scores of channels, most of which I wouldn’t watch, and then still have to pay extra for cable channels like HBO. “Why can’t I just pick off a menu and pay for only what I watch?” I wondered. Now I know why – because these streaming services add up very quickly.

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