Picture it now: your parents call your name to let you know your favourite programme is about to begin. You make your way from the kitchen with your dinner balanced on a tray, desperate not to miss any more than the opening credits. 15 minutes pass and an ad break starts – just enough time to nip to the loo.
This is a nightly routine the majority of us would have experienced growing up.
But all this changed with the introduction of TV streaming subscription services like Netflix. The TV Guide was thrown out the window and adverts were scrapped in favour of on demand viewing.
New contenders look to disrupt
According to BBC chief Tony Hall, the TV industry is about to enter “a second wave of disruption”, as new players enter an already congested market. The BBC announced plans to launch their own streaming service called BritBox, in partnership with ITV, to offset the effects of a decline in live TV viewing figures, but they aren’t alone. Disney, Apple, NBC and WarnerMedia are all poised to launch their own streaming services in a bid to compete with veterans Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Even Costco are reportedly contemplating launching their own streaming service, which should convince sceptics that anyone who feasibly can will be looking to do the same in the near future.
Will anyone be able to dethrone Netflix?
No, not at the moment. Netflix is way ahead of the field in terms of pretty much everything, but this is a prime opportunity for those playing catch up to diversify and level the playing field. Increased competition means that Netflix may no longer be the default streaming service of choice for films, documentaries and TV shows.
Even the existing shows they own the rights to aren’t safe. Two of their most popular shows, Friends and The Office, have been lost already. They were snapped for around $500 million apiece. That being said, Netflix have managed to lift the doom and gloom at head office by securing Seinfeld for a similar figure.
One area in particular where the streaming giant has excelled is their Netflix Originals shows. Other streaming sites will also look to establish their own original content. This will ease the burden of bidding for well-known TV show and film rights.
The likely outcome of this is an all-out price war. Netflix offer monthly subscriptions ranging from £5.99 – £11.99 a month. Amazon Prime offer a basic TV only subscription for £5.99 a month. With an influx of new players in the market, prices are bound to be cut by newcomers. Whether the more established outfits respond with cheaper prices or a quality over quantity approach remains to be seen.
One thing is for sure, all of these streaming sites won’t thrive let alone survive. But, it does feel like the end of traditional TV viewing as we once knew it.
Do you have a TV streaming subscription? If so, which one do you have? What, if anything, would entice you to switch streaming service? Tweet us @otbtweeter with your thoughts and insights.