One Under-the-Radar 2023 New Year’s Resolution for Every Major Streaming Service
Resolutions are a new year’s tradition that some look forward to eagerly, while others view them with abject dread. Although many resolutions are abandoned by February, they can be a helpful motivator to attempt new, sometimes difficult things once the calendar flips.
Streaming company executives may or may not be setting resolutions for their services in 2023, but each of them have a definite goal to shoot for in the new year. Some of those goals are big and obvious, but we’ve put together a list of one relatively under-the-radar resolution that each streaming service should adopt before 2022 is out.
Netflix: Get More Content onto Ad-Supported Tier
Netflix launched an ad-supported price tier on Nov. 3, in the hopes of luring previously hesitant users with a $6.99 price point and low ad-loads. But there was one big problem that the streamer is still trying to address: not all shows and movies on Netflix were available on the ad-supported tier at launch.
Thanks to licensing disputes with major media companies, mostly regarding splits of ad revenues, users of Netflix’s Basic with Ads plan are seeing some of their favorite shows — including some Netflix originals — come up as locked when they try to watch. Netflix is still hammering out agreements with these media companies, and it would behoove the service to move quickly to get those agreements done in 2023.
Disney+: Find a New Focus
Disney is seen as one of the most stable companies in the market, so when it executed an abrupt change in CEOs from Bob Chapek to Bob Iger in November, it was a relatively major shock. Iger was brought back to the company to stabilize its streaming losses after the company lost $1.5 billion in streaming during the third quarter, as well as to find a new path forward in an increasingly crowded streaming market for Disney+.
What that path forward might be is not currently clear. Chapek was highly interested in what he dubbed “Next-Gen Storytelling,” which would have attempted to integrate Disney+ into a wider metaverse. Will Iger continue those plans, or does he have a different future in mind for the service?
When the once and current chief executive conceived Disney+ it was as a one-stop, family-friendly streaming destination. However, in an effort to attract and retain a larger pool of subscribers, the platform as brought on more and more general entertainment content, and plans of a merger with Hulu were publicly discussed under Chapek. But is that still in the cards with Iger back at the helm? Or will he chart a new path for the company’s streaming services? Those are the big questions Disney+ should strive to answer in 2023.
Related: The Best Streaming Services to Stack if Your New Year’s Resolution is to Save Money in 2023
HBO Max/discovery+/Max: Be in the News Less
The HBO Max headlines were flying fast and furious in 2022, and mostly for undesirable reasons. It’s been a tough road for Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, as he attempts to find savings and generate new revenue streams by any methods necessary.
HBO Max and discovery+ are set to combine in the spring of 2023, and it would be best for the blood pressure of everyone working at the streamer for WBD to generate far fewer negative headlines in 2023. If Zaslav can ramp down the cancelations and the general air of chaos at the company, it would bring a much-needed sense of calm to the unified streaming service, which will likely be called “Max.”
Prime Video: Find a Mega-Hit in a New Genre
It wasn’t a bad year for Prime Video any way you slice it. The service became the exclusive home of the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” in 2022, and saw its original series “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” become its most-watched show in history — even if it had a bit of diminishing returns.
In 2023, the service should look to branch out of the genres that have brought it streaming success thus far to present a more well-rounded content offering. In addition to its fantasy action series “Rings of Power,” Prime Video found success in 2022 with the return of its spy action series “Jack Ryan,” its revenge action series “The Terminal List,” and its crime action series “Reacher. Are you sensing a pattern?
While it is important for streamers to find their own unique niche, with the size and scope that Amazon has to offer, it should be actively looking for properties that will help it become a true four-quadrant platform for viewers. Though based on a best-selling novel, Prime Video’s upcoming series “Daisy Jones and the Six” doesn’t have the brand recognition of “Lord of the Rings,” but it is a big swing in a non-action genre that could prove that Prime Video can do more than just action and intrigue.
Hulu: Make Ads Less Irritating
Ad-supported streaming is the future of the industry, and Hulu has been ahead of the curve for years in terms of offering both ad-supported and ad-free price tiers. But over 60% of users report being annoyed by Hulu’s ads, and its something that the streamer needs to address in 2023.
Customers are complaining not only about the frequency and length of ad breaks, but the repetitive nature of the commercials they are being shown. Hulu has to find a better, more effective way of showing ads to customers in the new year. With sibling streaming Disney+ now in the ad-supported game, it would benefit Hulu to borrow some of the less obtrusive practices that the company’s flagship streamer has adopted.
Peacock: Keep Adding Content No One Else Has
Peacock had one of the best years of any streaming service, doubling its paying customer total from 9 million to 18 million in 2022 alone. The service has added some very attractive content as well, including live streams of local NBC stations, NBC regional sports networks in select markets, and Hallmark movies and channels.
The best thing the service could resolve to do in 2023 is to keep adding content that differs from what al of its streaming competitors are doing. Perhaps it could expand its currently limited offerings of 4K content, or strike a deal with a major movie studio to become the first-run home of new theatrical releases. If it continues improving at the rate it has in 2022, the sky is the limit for Peacock.
Paramount+: Figure Out the Next Step With SHOWTIME
Paramount+ began offering content from SHOWTIME through a hub on its service to create an in-app bundle in August. Since then, discussions about merging the two services have continued, but no plans have been finalized.
The new year is the perfect time to get those plans ironed out once and for all. Paramount could easily justify a planned price increase by including more SHOWTIME content on Paramount+, or it could shock the media world by selling SHOWTIME off if it chooses. Hopefully 2023 is the year that Paramount finally settles on a concrete plan for SHOWTIME, whatever that may end up being.
Apple TV+: Stream the 2023 MLS Season With No Major Issues
Apple TV+ announced its deal to stream every Major League Soccer game of the next 10 years in June, and more recently offered details about its new MLS Season Pass add-on. It’s a big experiment for Apple TV+, and there’s a lot riding on the outcome of this season.
If the 2023 MLS season sees success on Apple TV+, it would go a long way toward convincing major sports leagues that streaming is a viable medium for the bulk of their broadcast product. The entire streaming industry is holding its breath that there are no major hiccups for Apple TV+ this soccer season, as they hope to pry more leagues away from their pay-TV homes.