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Why the Streaming Wars Will Pay Off for Viewers

Blaise Deveney

The streaming landscape is changing. Netflix, who once seemed to dominate the entire industry, is beginning to lose its lead on the competition now that other outlets have their own versions of an on-demand service.

New powerhouses like Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max have appeared with both easy-to-use formats and well-realized content libraries to draw in viewers. The rise of competition for Netflix seems to be affecting the market in a unique way. Recent data indicates that streaming consumers are more inclined to subscribe to a particular service in order to watch a specific show and then cancel their subscription once completing the show instead of fully committing to a particular service or services. This seems to indicate that price is not necessarily a factor when it comes to deciding what services to go with, which makes sense considering most on-demand streaming platform prices are about the same. Instead consumers appear to be most concerned about content when it comes to their decision-making process.

Before the streaming boom, Netflix had a massive library consisting of television shows and movies from a wide variety of production companies. As more of those companies decided to make their own on-demand platforms, however, Netflix started to lose much of that acquired content and was forced to make its own shows and movies in order to keep an extensive library enticing enough for viewers.

Not only did Netflix rise to the challenge, but it created some of the most popular shows in recent years with titles like “Stranger Things” and “Tiger King.” In the process, the service that started it all created the model that all the other outlets would copy.

While this obviously is not ideal for Netflix, it is great for the casual viewer. Even though the sheer number of services might seem overwhelming and frustrating, it actually plays a key factor in viewers getting good content, especially with the ease of subscribing and canceling subscriptions. Because viewers can easily jump in and out of any on-demand service with little to no hassle, it means there is no issue of commitment. Viewers are free to go wherever they feel the content is best.

So which service has the best content? We do have studies that break down content quality by genre and service. But ultimately, each individual will choose the best service for their taste. All on-demand platforms are vying for consumer views in order to turn a profit, which means that they need to generate the best content libraries they possibly can.

Competition breeds quality and since there are so many outlets on the market, each one needs to try to stand out from all the rest. If a particular streaming service fails to meet that standard, then there are many other options for viewers to spend their hard-earned money on.

While an argument could be made that some streaming service libraries are superior to others, no one outlet is the king of content as the market currently stands. It seems that every single service has at least one unique series which alone draws in subscribers, if only for a short time.

As long as subscriptions remain relatively hassle-free, the power remains in the hands of the viewer. Having the ease to jump between services forces these outlets to put their best foot forward when it comes to making content. So until one service becomes what Netflix used to be in terms of dominance, streaming viewers can take comfort in the fact that they have all the power and as such, they will be getting quality productions from all services for the foreseeable future.

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