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When television and movie streaming first arrived online, it was heralded as a fantastic development for consumers. Not only did it allow for on-demand entertainment, but it also consolidated many different shows into one form of access, drastically reducing the bills from cable packages. While the former advantage still holds today, the latter continues to grow weaker. It’s a frustrating problem, but it’s one where other industries might have already illustrated a way forward.
In the Beginning
The earliest mainstream television streaming service was Netflix. Though the website and service for Netflix had existed since 1998, it wasn’t until 2007 that the streaming component of the system went online. This delay was owed to the untested nature of the technology, as well as average internet speeds that were much slower than they are today. Once launched, the Watch Now service proved an instant hit, growing rapidly over the next few years.
With an enormous number of customers drawn to Netflix, alongside significant public support, it was only natural that television shows and rights holders wanted a piece of the pie. This led to what many considered the golden age of the streaming era, where Netflix held a library unmatched by all but the most robust and expensive traditional cable packages. Of course, with success comes competition.
Over time, other major names in the entertainment space like Hulu, Disney, and Amazon would decide that they could earn more by starting their own service. Since this point increasingly more names have jumped on the streaming idea, paying shows for exclusives which they hope will make their platform the most desirable. While this competition has driven up the level of service each of these systems offer, their libraries, now fragmented, have become an ongoing point of frustration.
What Could be Done?
Major competing entertainment providers sharing titles is hardly a recent development. Some companies have grown over time to understand and better cater to customers, a prime example of which could be found in the best online casinos in Canada. In these casinos, many of the hundreds of different slots, tables, and live games are shared freely between the different platforms. The pull for each casino then depends on their designs, as well as bonus offers like free spins and deposit matches. As it turns out, the town is big enough for everyone, and there is hope that streaming services will one day see the same light.
Ultimately, the competitive streaming environment is in its infancy. For this reason, it’s still undergoing significant evolution each year, with different services testing the waters and exploring their options. We’ve seen this recently with how movies from some major studios are seeing simultaneous releases in theatre and streaming, which customers have broadly loved.
The question is, long-term, could the complexities of different stream licensing systems give rise to agreeable profit splitting? If driven by customer pressure and the different involved bosses in the industries, then it would stand to reason that more open platforms would result. As for whether this level of cooperation is a realistic ask in the age of billion-dollar mega-media organizations, that much remains to be seen.