The streaming war has only just started, but the video streaming market is fast becoming crowded. As more streaming platforms are expected to join the streaming wars in the near future.
The video streaming market is accelerating each year as movie studios, TV and telecommunication companies fight for controlling market share. What started off as a Netflix only market, has evolved by adding Disney+, HBO Max (Warner Media), Paramount+ (ViacomCBS), Peacock (NBCUniversal), Amazon Prime and Discovery+.
What is the streaming wars all about?
Dubbed as the Streaming Wars, each streaming platform aims to establish itself before TV and movie cinemas become niche markets. Streaming has forced the major movie and TV entities to compete with Netflix or become irrelevant. As for the telecoms companies, having your own streaming services allows them to offer additional bundles to their data packages.
The upside and downside of the streaming wars
The upside of the streaming wars is, today we live in a world abundant with movie and series entertainment. The downside is new streaming platforms increase the expense of subscribing to each individual platform beyond that of traditional broadcast TV. The other downside is the production companies are pulling content from rival studios and broadcasters to make them exclusive for their platforms.
This guarantees that the smaller streaming platforms will either join with the bigger platforms for bundling packages or mergers. It is, therefore, undoubtedly that entertainment oligopolies will form as a result. This has already happened with World Wrestling Entertainment’s streaming platform the WWE Network being sold to Peacock. The current streaming landscape also encourages piracy due to this segregation of entertainment.
What are the streaming companies competing for?
It’s a race for subscribers, the one with the most paying subscribers gains leverage over the entire market place. Netflix still has first mover’s advantage with over 200 million subscribers. Competition is fierce though with Amazon Prime having 150 million subscribers and Disney+ gaining 100 million subscribers within 2 years. The streaming wars clearly spells the end for cinemas and broadcast TV, especially due to the pandemic their decline has only been sped up.
The streaming wars may mostly refer to the US, but other countries have also joined the fray so as to not be left behind by the digitization of entertainment. China for instance has three duelling platforms in name of Tencent Video, iQIYI (Baidu) and Youku (Alibaba Group). Another country with its own streaming platforms is South Africa’s ShowMax which is currently the biggest in Africa.