The Fragmentation of Streaming Services

Hello everyone, it’s Martin Jansen, the owner of Jansen-PCINFO.  Two years ago I wrote an article about cutting the cord.  That is, eliminating cable TV and going with over the air antenna channels combined with streaming services.  The landscape of streaming services has changed quite a bit over the last year.  This article covers those changes.

How many channels does one household need?

In the early days of streaming services there was Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and few other players.  Now we have all these plus networks:  Disney+, ESPN+ (second tier sports), Apple TV+, discovery+ (all those home shows) and recently Paramount+ which supersedes CBS All Access.  Add a few others without the plus, like HBO Max and Peacock and the consumer has what appears to be a wide choice of content.

The bad part about all this is each streaming service seeks to maintain exclusive content.  I call this streaming fragmentation, where you have to have to pay for multiple streaming services to have good content selection.  Pay for one service and you may not be able to watch other desirable content.  If you pay for all the services, at least $5 per month, and you could far exceed any cable bill you’ve had in the past – a cord cutters nightmare.

Prices have been escalating for those services that combine content, like YouTube TV, Hulu+ Live TV, fuboTV and Sling TV as each must contract with providers who are raising their prices.  Live sport packages are always more expensive.

In the end, consumers of entertainment must make choices on the content that best serve their household without breaking the bank.