I just read an article that claimed TV is about to get way more expensive. But I disagree. Ten years ago, video content providers were happy licensing their content to broadcast TV channels, or pay networks, like HBO or Netflix, because really, that’s all there was.
Then Netflix got really, really popular, viewers started cutting the cord, dumping cable or satellite TV, because nobody feels like cable TV is worth $150 per month. Now, all the TV companies are afraid their broadcast TV properties are losing viewers, and cable company revenues are dropping, because of all the cord cutting, so suddenly they all decided to go it alone, each building their own separate streaming platforms.
For some stupid reason, they seem to think we’ll all be stupid enough to sign up for every one of them, and they’ll all get rich. I’m sure some people will, but I suspect most of us will only choose one or two, and just ignore the others.
And without a common platform, like broadcast TV or newspapers, how exactly will all those independent content creators advertise their new shows? I guarantee you CBS online won’t be showing ads for NBC or ABC streaming shows, They can’t trust viewers word of mouth to advertise your new wares.
I suspect quite a few of the new streaming services will fail to make enough money to stay afloat. Disney says they will only charge $7/month for their new ABC/Disney streaming service, and they bought the last bits of Hulu they didn’t own from NBC, so they’ll have tons of content. And maybe they will, but I suspect that’s just a temporary low price, and after a few years, they’ll be raising that price up to $12-18/month, just like HBO, NBC and CBS plan. And they’ll charge even more if you want the content shown without TV commercials, just like Hulu does now.
My plan is to stick with Netflix and Amazon. Most of the content I watch these days is original content created for those platforms. We never signed up for CBS All Access. I doubt we’ll be convinced to pay CBS or NBC, just for the right to view the latest Law & Order: Timbuktu series, or NCIS: Rural Indiana.
I guess they could end stopping to offer good shows on broadcast TV, abandoning it for greener pastures, but live sports still is the biggest draw on Broadcast TV. Will they try to move all Sports Broadcasts to their isolated little walled gardens? Disney/ESPN does that now, and it still doesn’t get the paid audiences that ABC Broadcast channels do for NFL games. Maybe the NFL will stop licensing it’s content to anyone else, and force all viewers to watching NFL games only on the NFL streaming channel. That definitely increase viewers on that service, but would it be enough to make up for the tens of millions TV Broadcasters are paying right now?
“May we live in interesting times”, right?