As streaming technology improves and we have more devices to watch what we want where we want, are we at a point of critical mass as far as paying for content is concerned? There are so many streaming services, both existing and upcoming, that we may be getting to a crossroads.
We have standalone services like Amazon Video, CBS All Access, HBO Now, Hulu, Netflix, Showtime, etc. and then we have the services like AT&T Watch, DirecTV Now, fuboTV, Hulu (the live version), PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, and YouTube TV, which are marketed to cord cutters.
As far as sports is concerned, there’s ESPN+, which Disney has deemed a success with one million subscribers at last count. You also have NBC Sports Gold, which has plenty of Olympic sports as well as the English Premier League. To watch live NFL games, you have CBS All Access, which also a paid monthly subscription app. fuboTV has plenty of soccer action, but also has entertainment channels as well. We can’t forget about DAZN, which provides boxing and MMA, among other sports.
In addition to the current services, there more are services coming down the road like Disney+, which will have the Star Wars library, Marvel Universe, and of course, Disney and Pixar movies, and AT&T announced its own streaming service (not to be confused with the existing services it has already launched like DirecTV Now, the aforementioned Watch, plus another DirecTV service to launch next year) which Friends (which is currently on Netflix) will anchor when that goes online.
So with all of these services, there’s only so much you can pay. Consider those services that you “must have” like Amazon ($12.99/month), Netflix ($13.99/month), and perhaps Hulu ($7.99/month), “could have” such as HBO Now ($14.99/month) and Showtime ($11/month), and then those in the “maybe” category like CBS All Access ($5.99/month), DAZN ($9.99/month), ESPN+ ($4.99/month), and NBC Sports Gold ($49/year for EPL, varies depending on other sports) and you’re spending close to $100 a month. And we’re not counting the other services like fubo, DirecTV Now, Hulu Live, PlayStation, Sling TV, and YouTube TV, which would put you close or over $150 per month depending on which service and package you opt for.
And then you have Disney+ and AT&T which could put you near $200 per month, and that brings you to a point where you’re paying just about what you were for your cable or satellite bill…and that doesn’t include the internet service you’d need to purchase to actually use all of these platforms.
With all of the services that you currently have or want, that’s a pretty hefty price. So how many streaming services is too many? And how much are you willing to pay per month? Can you bear to be a member of so many streaming services? How can we keep track?
When cable and satellite were the kings of pay TV, a Nielsen study showed that people watched on average, a total of 20 channels out of the 200 or so that were available. With that in mind, do we have the capacity for as many as eight to ten streaming services? It all depends on your attention span and your wallet.