The Great Streaming Wars of 2019. Who Will You Choose?
2018 was the first year in which streaming shows outnumbered network shows. In 2019, we can expect the number of shows created by streaming services to increase as Disney and AT&T launch their own streaming services and Netflix tries to fend off the competition.
AT&T & WarnerMedia
In late 2019, AT&T plans to launch a three-tiered on-demand streaming service with movies and original programming with levels between $8 and $15 with content to match. They plan to focus on a different direct to consumer strategy than Netflix’s, with a mix of HBO content, Warner’s vast library, and new original shows .
Disney movies have been a part of Netflix’s success and growth, but now Disney plans to pull its content from Netflix and launch its own streaming service, Disney+, also in late 2019. This platform will also host content that Disney acquired in a deal with 21st Century Fox.
Content from Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar will also be available. Disney+ will be available for a monthly fee, and will have new content like a live action Marvel and Star Wars series, and behind-the-scenes documentaries of Disney features.
It will serve as the family friendly alternative to Hulu, which is also now majority owned by Disney. The company plans to continue to use Hulu for Fox shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, and their non-child friendly films.
Apple will roll out their streaming service early next year, starting in the United States then expanding to 100 other countries within a few months. They plan to mix original programming, third party services, and the ability to subscribe to other services through Apple, like the deals the Amazon has with HBO and Showtime.
The company has partnered with A24 who produced films like Lady Bird and Moonlight to make films for the service and announced a multi-year deal for original shows from Oprah. They have quietly acquired programming including a J.J. Abrams limited series starring Jennifer Garner, Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories, a futuristic drama from Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence, and thriller series from M. Night Shyamalan.
But, At What Cost?
The addition of these three platforms next year will almost certainly change the streaming environment although exactly how remains to be seen. Right now, access to Netflix, for example, can get you access to shows from a variety of networks along with original movies and shows.
As more networks see potential profits in providing their own services, expect to have to juggle a greater number of subscriptions to access your favorite shows. This could be good news for fans of very specific niches, like Marvel movies, but looks like added expenses for people with more diverse tastes.
The question is — which services will you subscribe to in 2019?