What’s on Every Major Streaming Service’s Holiday Wishlist in 2022?
The 2022 holiday season is here! Hanukkah is in full swing, and with Christmas just around the corner, executives from major streaming services are putting together their letters to Santa, full of their hopes and dreams for 2023. While more subscribers, increased revenue, breakout series, and blockbuster movies are likely towards the top of every platform’s list, we dug just a little bit deeper to find an item that every major streaming service will be wishing for next year!
Netflix: Success with Anti-Password Sharing Measures
Netflix has had a more-than-bumpy ride in 2022. The service lost subscribers for the first two quarters of the year, and the launch of its new ad-supported plan hasn't yet been a rousing success. The first big endeavor the service will attempt in the new year appears to be cracking down on users sharing passwords.
That move is virtually guaranteed to be highly unpopular with Netflix users, who have been encouraged to share the service for years. However, as the streaming industry made a dramatic turn this past year, if Netflix wants to continue being the tech and entertainment unicorn that it has always envisioned itself to be, it must find a way to monetize the estimated 100 million people using its service, but not paying for it.
The world’s largest streamer has to execute this delicate move in a way that doesn’t alienate too many customers if it wants to call the anti-password sharing efforts a success.
Netflix is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 3,000+ movies, 2,000+ TV Shows, and Netflix Originals like Stranger Things, Squid Game, The Crown, Tiger King, and Bridgerton. They are constantly adding new shows and movies. Some of their Academy Award-winning exclusives include Roma, Marriage Story, Mank, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Netflix offers four plans — on 2 device in HD with their “Standard with Ads” ($6.99) plan, on 1 device in SD with their “Basic” ($9.99) plan, on 2 devices in HD with their “Standard” ($15.49) plan, and 4 devices in up to 4K on their “Premium” ($19.99) plan.
Netflix spends more money on content than any other streaming service meaning that you get more value for the monthly fee.
Disney+: More Live Content
Disney+ first dipped its toe into live streaming this year, offering several concerts plus a live stream of 2022's Oscar nominations. The streamer also became the home of the latest season of “Dancing With the Stars,” making it the first live series in the service’s history.
These moves are likely just the beginning of live content on Disney+. Now that the service offers an ad-supported tier, customers will be more accustomed to viewing shows and movies on the service with ads, which will help Disney+ expand its live offerings even further.
Disney+ is a video streaming service with over 13,000 series and films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, The Muppets, and more. It is available in 61 countries and 21 languages. It is notable for its popular original series like “The Mandalorian,” “Ms. Marvel,” “Loki,” “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” and “Andor.”
Disney+ has two plans – one with ads and one without ads. Disney+ Basic with Ads costs $7.99 / month. If you don’t want ads, you can choose Disney+ Premium with No Ads which costs $10.99 / month.
The Premium plan also offers an annual option for $109.99 / year ($9.17/mo.).
If you want all of Disney streaming services, they have two options for The Disney Bundle. The Disney Bundle Basic includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ (with Ads) for $7.99 / month. The Disney Bundle Premium (without Ads) for $19.99 / month.
The app supports unlimited downloads (on their Premium Plans), four simultaneous streamers, up to 7 profiles, 4K streaming, and includes hundreds of avatars.
The service includes 25+ original series, 10+ original movies, 7,500 past episodes, 100 recent movies, and 400 library titles including the entire Disney Vault.
You can see the full list of available Disney, Disney Channel, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, Nat Geo shows and movies, or all available Disney+ content by checking out our Disney+ Streaming Movie List.
Hulu: Clarity on Future
The Hulu story is well-traveled by now: two-thirds of the company is owned by Disney, after its acquisition of FOX in 2019. The rest of the streamer is owned by Comcast. A thorny contract between the two companies states that Disney can buy the rest of the streaming service from Comcast, beginning in 2024.
That contract has led to several verbal dust-ups between the two companies in 2022, most likely in order to give one side leverage over the other in negotiations. Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek had stated publicly that he would like to acquire the rest of Hulu before 2024 and merge it with the company’s flagship streamer Disney+ to remove the customer pain point of having to bounce back and forth between services to stream the content that they want to watch.
However, late last month, Chapek was shockingly removed from his post and replaced with his predecessor (now also his successor) Bob Iger. The architect behind the creation of Disney+, Iger always envisioned Disney+ as being the home for the company’s family-friend content, not a catch-all hub for everything in the company’s general entertainment archive. So his vision for what a fully Disney-owned Hulu looks like might be substantively different than what Chapek had previously laid out.
For the sake of everyone working at Hulu, and the customers currently subscribed to both, here’s hoping a little clarity on the situation emerges in 2023.
Hulu is a video streaming service that gives access to thousands of full seasons of exclusive series, hit movies, kids shows, and Hulu Originals like “Only Murders in the Building,” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
It offers a good selection of current TV shows and its ad-supported tier is cheaper than both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. You will be able to watch most shows from networks like ABC and Fox, and cable channels like FXX, FXM, HGTV, and more.
The service has a Limited Commercials plan for $7.99 a month, or you can upgrade to their No Ads plan for $14.99 a month. For $69.99 a month, you can get Hulu Live TV from major cable channels, live locals and regional sports networks.
Prime Video: More Live Sports
The transition of the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” to a streaming-only format on Prime Video has been a success by most measures this season. The games haven't quite reached the level of viewership they saw on linear broadcasts, but with no huge technical issues and a large young audience, Amazon must be pleased with its initial results.
The next step for Prime Video is to add more sports to its offerings. The service was considered a serious contender to land the NFL’s out-of-market game package NFL Sunday Ticket for most of the year, but ended up falling short, as YouTube TV secured the rights earlier this week in a bit of a Christmas miracle. Though the bride’s maid in this particular rights bidding, Amazon clearly has its sights set on adding more sports to its streaming repertoire.
The service has a 12-hour daily block of sports talk carved out to break down the action and throughout 2022 has inked regional deals to stream games for the New York Yankees and the WNBA's Seattle Storm.
With the NBA’s broadcast contract expiring following the 2024-25 season, and Warner Bros. Discovery executives hinting that they might not be interested in reupping their deal, Prime Video could be in position to make a play for the league’s rights if it enters the bidding early.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 10,000+ movies, TV shows, and Prime Originals like “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” “Jack Ryan,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “The Boys,” and more. Subscribers can also add third-party services like Showtime, and Starz with Amazon Prime Video Channels. Prime Video also offers exclusive live access to NFL Thursday Night Football.
The Prime Video interface shows content included with your subscription alongside the ad-supported Freevee library and some shows and movies you need to purchase, so be sure to double-check your selection before you watch.
Prime Video is included with Amazon Prime for $12.99 per month ($119 per year), or can be purchased on its own for $8.99 per month.
HBO Max: Fewer Catastrophes and a Smooth Merger with discovery+
Ever since Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav took charge of the newly merged company with a mandate to find billions of dollars in savings in April 2022, life at HBO Max has been rough. Beloved shows have been canceled, nearly-finished series and movies have been written off, and content has been slashed from the service.
All that the streamer can ask for in 2023 is that the carnage ends before it executes a long-planned merger with discovery+ in the spring. If things calm down at WBD and the combination of streamers goes off successfully, perhaps the company can still salvage its reputation. Both customers, employees, and artists have not only been disappointed by the company’s cuts, but they have been angered by the cavalier attitude with which Zaslav has handled them.
The continued financial difficulties that the company is trying to navigate its way through have clearly had an impact on its standing with consumers and creators, but if it can result in some sort of stability, Zaslav appears to be willing to make the sacrifice. The only other question is whether or not subscribers will be willing to stick around for that stability to come?
Max is a subscription video streaming service that gives access to the full HBO library, along with exclusive Max Originals. There are hubs for content from TLC, HGTV, Food Network, Discovery, TCM, Cartoon Network, Travel Channel, ID, and more. Watch hit series like “The Last of Us,” “House of the Dragon,” “Succession,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and more. The service changed its name from “HBO Max” on May 23, 2023.
Max has three tiers, an ad-supported plan for $9.99 an ad-free plan for $15.99, and the ultimate tier that includes 4K for $19.99.
All Max subscribers will get the full libraries of shows like “Friends”, “The Big Bang Theory”, “South Park”, “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, “The West Wing”, and more.
You can choose to add Max as a subscription through Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, or other Live TV providers.
Paramount+: Getting the Rights to ‘Yellowstone’ Back
This is probably the most unrealistic wish on the list so far. Paramount Global licensed the streaming rights of past seasons to Peacock in January 2020 before CBS All Access morphed into Paramount+, and has been kicking itself ever since. The service is still home to “Yellowstone” spin-offs “1923” and “1883,” but the original show will live on Peacock for the foreseeable future.
If Paramount+ somehow managed to convince Peacock to sell the rights back, it would be a massive coup. The move would unite the so-called “Sheridan-verse” (named for “Yellowstone” co-creator Taylor Sheridan) on one streaming service, and would give Paramount+ ample justification for executing an teased price hike.
However, as the most popular show on cable, “Yellowstone” continues to break records on the Paramount Network and it is unlikely that NBCUniversal would let it leave Peacock anytime soon, especially as it is still searching for the first breakout hit of its own.
Paramount+ is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 40,000+ TV show episodes from BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and more. The lineup includes “1883,” “Tulsa King,” “Star Trek: Discovery,” Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants,” and MTV’s “Laguna Beach.” From well-loved franchises to compelling originals, Paramount+ offers a great library worth streaming. Live NFL games are included. The service also offers the option to watch your live CBS affiliate.
Subscribers can choose between the Essentials Plan (which includes ads) for $4.99/month, or go commercial-free with the Premium Plan for $9.99/month. Subscribers can add Showtime to either plan for an additional fee.
With their Premium Plan, in addition to not having ads, you will also get access to your local CBS affiliate to stream your local news, prime-time lineup, and late-night. You will also be able to download offline and watch select shows in 4K.
With the lower cost “Essential” plan, you will still be able to watch live NFL games, Champions League, and national news – but you will no longer get your local CBS affiliate.
With their new app, enjoy advanced recommendations, curated homepages, and new content categories while still being able to stream major live sports like NFL, College Football, College Basketball. Sports fans will also appreciate the service’s inclusion of NFL on CBS, PGA Tour, along with every match of UEFA Champions League and Serie A.
The service was previously called CBS All Access.
Peacock: Double Paid Subscriber Base Again
Speaking of Peacock, the service has been punching above its weight class all year long. The streamer recently announced that it had doubled its paid subscriber total this year, jumping from 9 million to 18 million in 2022 alone. Users of Comcast’s Xfinity internet and cable services can subscribe to the service free, making it even more impressive that Peacock nabbed so many new paying customers.
If the service managed to repeat that feat, it would claim 36 million paid subscribers. That’s still a far cry from the hundreds of millions that services like Disney+ and Netflix claim, but it would demonstrate that Peacock is on the right track while so many streamers struggle to find the path toward profitability in an increasingly crowded market. NBCU executives have long claimed that the streamer's unusual path is exactly what they had planned, and if they can continue to execute this type of growth, they might just be proven correct.
With live feeds of local NBC stations rolling out on the service, as well as regional sports networks in select markets, it’s not impossible (although it’s likely improbable) that Peacock doubles its paid subscribers again in 2023.
Peacock is a subscription video streaming service from NBCUniversal that includes original shows, blockbuster movies, and classic television series. Peacock is home to “Yellowstone,” and “The Office,” as well as original hits like “Poker Face” and “Bel-Air.” You can also watch live sports including Sunday Night Football, Premier League, and exclusive MLB games. Peacock is also the exclusive home to many WWE events like WrestleMania. Premium Plus subscribers can stream their local NBC feed in all 210 markets.
Peacock includes news, entertainment, sports, late-night, and reality from various NBCU properties including NBC, Bravo, and E!.
Peacock also includes the entire library of Bravo shows and has exclusives like “Below Deck: Down Under.” They also include live and on-demand access to Hallmark channels.
The company has acquired the rights to many classic shows like “Parks and Recreation,” and the entire Dick Wolf library including “Law & Order” and “Chicago Fire.”
The service also features blockbusters and critically-acclaimed films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and content acquired from Hollywood’s biggest studios.