Which is your preferred genre… Drama? Comedy? Action and adventure? In a world where we are now spoilt for choice, the options for what to watch on a Friday evening with a glass of ‘something’ is becoming more diverse for viewers all over the world.
In the most recent survey conducted by Ofcom, statistics show that over 13.3m (47%) households in the UK in 2019 are subscribed to the more popular streaming platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV and DisneyLife – and that’s just the ones that are around at the moment! With new platforms such as BritBox, HBO Max and Disney+ being brought to market, how will the new streaming platforms compete against the existing big-league players? And, how will consumers feel about paying for yet another subscription service?
When Netflix started, it was the first of its kind and had its customers hooked. However, with content owners like Disney evolving into new streaming companies and removing popular content from the platform, Netflix is having to readjust its approach.
Netflix hiked its prices for the first time since 2017 to accommodate the significant investments it has made into new TV shows and films. By creating original content, such as Sex Education, Stranger Things and 13 Reasons Why, it means that not only can programmes like these not be taken off the platform when content owners want to branch out , but the likes of Netflix now has unique content that is exclusive to their channel that they can market – following in Amazon’s path of course.
However, will the new investments in original content be enough to keep customers loyal when the subscription costs for one platform alone amounts to nearly the same as a TV licence? Netflix’s £11.99 price point means a total bill for the year is £143.88 – only £10.62 less than the TV licence fee. I found this particularly interesting as the latest Ofcom report also revealed that, despite the growing number of people using and paying for these streaming subscriptions, traditional viewing still accounts for most TV time (69% – or 3 hours 12 minutes, on average, per day).
Maybe there is a solution to keep prices down and still have a wide variety of content available. In the US, Disney has revealed that they will be bundling Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ together for a fixed price, to compete against the streaming giants. This new approach to multi-brand consolidation is definitely something to keep an eye on and perhaps the increased competition will benefit us viewers.
The question remains though, in the competition for viewers and subscribers – has Netflix done enough to maintain its lead, or will the new players kick it out of first place? With the ever-growing technological advances within the broadcast industry – I’m excited to see how this industry will continue to evolve and develop as time goes by.