Streaming is every millennial’s wet dream. From the starting days of Netflix snail-mailing you DVDs to years later where you can search, find, and click to watch whatever may interest you at that very second.
Netflix has been the Tesla of streaming services. Circumventing cable companies by having no commercials and on-demand whatever you want, whenever you want. Upping content quality of other on-demand platforms like Youtube.
Netflix, in fact, still accounts for about 20% of all internet traffic in America. Netflix was the streaming service, an unofficial monopoly on that type of service. But of course, in the free market that is capitalism, that changed. Now you can find Hulu, Amazon, HBO, major tv broadcast networks, Disney, and even Apple have come to the table to eat a slice of the video streaming pie.
Founded in 1997, Netflix mailed DVDs to subscribers’ homes. With the decline of Blockbuster and video renting stores, it was a solid idea. Just like Amazon, but for videos, you could find whatever you wanted to watch and have it mailed to your house.
It wouldn’t be until 2007 when Netflix decided to take a revolutionary leap into streaming. Netflix went to Blockbuster, the leader in movie rentals of the 90s and early 2000s, asking the company to take a stake in their startup.
“They ultimately said, ‘Why would we do that? We know more about the business than you do. If it’s such a good business, we’ll do it ourselves,'” recalls Netflix cofounder Mitch Lowe according to CNN, who now leads MoviePass. “It only strengthened our resolve to show what idiots they had been.”
By the end of the decade, Blockbuster was forced to file for bankruptcy and today only has one remaining store. Netflix has taken movie and TV streaming by storm and is arguably the most recognized of all streaming platforms across generations.
“Netflix rules the entertainment landscape with 130 million subscribers in nearly 200 countries, a growing slate of award-winning programming, and a market cap of more than $150 billion,” CNN reported in July of 2018.
Hulu, now one of Netflix’s many competitors, was one of the first video streaming services to actively set out to compete with cable television. Unlike Netflix, you still had to watch ads like a normal televised program. But on the contrary to Netflix that allowed them to have a lot more current and more popular tv shows readily available on their service.
Launching their streaming service privately months after Netflix, Hulu was a joint venture between AOL, Comcast, Facebook, MSN, Myspace, and Yahoo. NBC and Fox were the first channels to join Hulu. Hulu launched publicly in March 2008.
HBO, already a popular subscription-based cable television station. Seemingly laying in wait for the advent of video streaming. Now even HBO has entered the fold with HBO Now. HBO Now is just HBO, but video streaming and no need for a cable.
Together, users who stream on a combination of all of Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Now are unlikely to find a need for cable subscriptions, leading more and more streaming subscribers to cut the cord from traditional media.
The latest announced streaming service is Disney Plus. Content created by Disney that was previously able to be streamed on Netflix will be migrated over to the new platform and feature Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, National Geographic, and recently announced Fox programming. Disney Plus is also rumored to feature original content, much like Netflix originals.
“Disney Plus will also house the entire film libraries of Pixar, Star Wars, and its Signature Series and Disney Vault lines of classic hand-drawn animated movies. (Think Bambi, The Lion King, Snow White and so on.),” reports Cnet on how Disney Plus is the brand’s answer to Netflix.
For only $7 per month or $70 per year, Disney Plus is highly competitive to Netflix price-wise. Users will be able to streams from all of their devices, including mobile phones, tablets, computers, and smart TVs. Disney Plus is set to launch on November 12, 2019.
Cnet also reported Christine M. McCarthy, Chief Financial Officer, Disney, alluded to the price per month of Disney Plus rising as the services bundle with other services. Rumors of partnering with Hulu and ESPN to offer a discount if subscribers use two or three of the services.
Apple, the trillion-dollar company, has announced its step deeper into the services model by bringing TV+, News+, and Arcade into the streaming service collective. TV+ is Apple’s answer to every other video streaming service.
With so many now being available each needs to stand out with its own original content rather than what they can obtain the license for. Apple had a trailer featuring big Hollywood names were flashed, such as JJ Abrams, Steven Spielberg, and the biggest one of all of them….Oprah.
“Introducing Apple TV+, a new streaming service where the most creative minds in TV and film tell the kinds of stories only they can. Featuring original shows and movies across every genre, Apple TV+ is coming this fall. Exclusively on the Apple TV app.” – Apple’s description of the service on Apple.com.
Clearly, Apple is trying to show it means business with these big names. In traditional Apple fashion is to wait for something to come out and exist for a while, then perfect it and change it to the best version it can be.
Apple clearly means business with all of its services. Apple Arcade is Apple’s iPhone video game service. Apple has apparently invested about $500 Million dollars into these Apple Arcade phone games, which with that amount of money may change public perception and reception of phone games forever.
Apple’s first launch into streaming happened with Apple Music. Launching in 2013, Apple Music was the Apple solution to music streaming to compete with Spotify, the largest music streaming service of the time.
Featuring more than 50 million songs, for $9.99 per month, users are able to stream, download, and listen to as much music as their heart and ears desire. Apple Music is able to offer users exclusives including albums, documentaries, and music videos.
“Apple has focused on human curation. While there are some algorithmically created playlists, a lot of the content highlighted on Apple Music is done by Apple Music editors,” writes Macrumors.com. “Apple offers regularly updated personalized playlists in a “For You” tab, including a favorites mix, a chill mix, a friends mix, and a new music mix, along with other playlist options that are updated on a daily basis.
Apple is the first company to offer users a truly immersive experience without the need to step out of the Apple ecosystem. With the additions of Apple TV+, Apple Music, News, and more, you can truly cut the cord using all Apple products and services.
Living within the Apple ecosystem provides literally every form of consumable media, music, news, games, movies, and tv shows. Apple has grown from the garage to an international conglomerate.