Amazon, like Apple, has plenty of money to pour into entertainment if they decide they want to. But if it's not profitable why should Apple keep spending on its own service? Netflix, though, is in the biggest trouble, I think; anecdotally people seem to think of Amazon and Hulu content as better-quality on average than Netflix. Disney is spending a massive amount of money on its upcoming original shows obviously trying to compete with Amazon or maybe even HBO. (And meanwhile who knows whether Warner has any idea what they're doing with HBO - look at their DC Universe compared with Marvel.)
In the end it's an amazing time to work in the entertainment industry. And to pirate media.
That doesn't match up with my anecdotal observations at all. I know many people who subscribe to and enjoy Netflix, a handful of people who watch content off Amazon because they're getting it for "free" with the Prime subscription, and zero people with Hulu.
I do agree tons watch and respect some of Netflix. HN and other parts of web seem to dislike it a lot.
I'd probably consider a $10-15/AUD streaming service if it included all the music, movies and party-music-video playlists I need /in one app/. It'd be a pretty tactical move to bundle that all into a decent internet plan, too.
But judging by the TV shows my sickchill server and automatically nabs and pushes to my plex server my tastes would require 4-5 separate services and be in the range of $40-60/month, so I guess I'll keep doing what I currently do.
Since then, we got Amazon Prime for the bundled media (I had been on my brother’s business Prime membership that did not include video).
Amazon did a good job of integrating other paid services like Netflix, HBO Now, and CBS streaming. The user experience is actually pretty good, and the only hardware needed is a very inexpensive Firestick that our daughter and son in law gave us.
With no cable or satellite service, good internet, and monthly costs of $10 Prime, $15 Netflix, $6 CBS (for Star Trek), and $15 HBO Now, we have way more entertainment than we could every watch, and a reasonable cost. Friends who can’t give up cable are stuck because they are addicted to channel surfing the “news” shows, which I argue is a really unhealthy activity. No new and no commercials works for me.
One major gripe I have about these services is the non-transparent way they "disappear" shows or seasons from their collection. At one point all 17 seasons of L&O: SVU were available on Prime (in Canada), but now only Seasons 1-6 are available.
The dropdown still lists all the seasons w/ full episode details, but once you select the season, it says "No longer available".
It's obvious their goal is to phase out "third-party" programming in favour of store brand stuff. At a point, it's honestly just better to buy the DVD/Blu-rays of the shows you enjoy and put them on a Plex server.
Apple, on the other hand, is happy to sell me anything from the US store and let me download or stream it anywhere in the EU when I'm there.
I imagine people affected by this make up a negligible part of the market, but I find it a compelling differentiator. Not that I'd give up Prime... in addition to the whole "ship to nowheresville" thing, Patriot bought them this cinephile's loyalty for at least a few years.
Doesn't Prime have 100 million US subscribers now? And Netflix is something like 60 million. I guess these analysts predict they'll both stagnate while Apple will grow from 0 to 100 million in 5 years?
Other Amazon Prime benefits requires that Amazon have a local presence in your country or area, so it makes sense that it's limited to countries where Amazon at least have distribution centers.
Speak for yourself. I live outside the US, and can't get any Amazon Prime or free delivery.
I subscribe to Amazon Prime Video for The Grand Tour and other Amazon exclusive video-content.
Yes, it's a small catalogue, but 4K Prime costs me 1/3 of what 1080p Netflix costs, so I'm OK with that.
This was the whole attraction of Netflix - it was a single service that got you most of what you wanted. Now there's Netflix, Stan, Amazon, Disney Channel, etc.
A few do what you're describing here. One of our friends switches back and forth between Netflix and Stan every three months. But more and more of my friends who were perfectly happy to pay for 1-2 streaming services are going back to good old torrents because none of the streaming services offer a good value proposition any more.
I pay for both Amazon Prime and Netflix yet I find the value proposition of torrents better.
It happens quite often that I later on discover that some TvShow I'm watching through torrents is available in Amazon Prime. This is what happens when torrent websites have less Ads than services one pays for.
For torrents, I just download whole TvShows (all seasons), watch them, and that's it.
It has happened a couple of times that Netflix or Prime remove a TvShow while I'm in the middle of watching it, or that they have all seasons except for the last one.
Also, the Netflix app on the Apple TV is now super crippled. Netflix removed support to play to an Apple TV from an iphone earlier this year, etc.
The offer of TvShows, Movies, etc. in Amazon Prime sucks. You have to buy most of the stuff on top of the subscription, and when you do buy it, you still get Ads. The offer of Movies in Netflix is better, but kind of sucks as well. There are a lot of "Made by Netflix" movies that just prove that throwing money at a problem not always solves it.
I will probably continue to pay for Prime because of deliveries, but Netflix doesn't make much sense anymore. Our money would be better spent paying for something like HBO, or going out for dinner once per year.
All in all, torrents don't break my balls. They are simpler
and less annoying to use, work overall better, have a larger offer, I can watch them with bad connectivity after the fact (e.g. planes, trains, buses, etc.).
I'll gladly pay for a service that is as good as what I get for free. Hell, I'm paying for multiple services that are worse in many ways. We already have two Apple TV devices at home, if Apples' subscription service becomes better than Netflix, we will switch. Last time I checked, Apple's service was way worse than Netflix.
It is sad to compare all this mess with Music. I use spotify and soundcloud, and am very happy with both. I have Prime Music, never used it. Since I have spotify it has never occured to me to use torrents for music either.
Yes, but everyone (including Netflix, analysts, and every observer with two brain cells to rub together) new that was temporary, and it started breaking down when Blockbuster started aggressively bidding for exclusives for their streaming service.
Netflix having everything was only going to happen as long as everyone else was standing back to see if Netflix could prove streaming a viable market worth competing for.
And yet the total number and $ value of streaming subscriptions sold in the market is going up as more options emerge, not down.
With more subscriptions, they will steal or claim content from existing ones, effectively driving their value down. Sure some will create content, as they have been doing for a while now but that doesn't change the fact that if I want to watch The Office, I used to have to use a VPN to watch it through Netflix US, now it's on Amazon Prime but where will it be in 2 years?
It wasn't. Netflix's selection was never, ever comprehensive, it just used to be focused a bit more tightly on 18 - 35 males than it is today.
And Netflix subscriptions never replaced other sources for the vast majority of their subscribers - the majority of Netflix subscribers in all major Western territories are also subscription satellite or cable subscribers.
Cable cutting was always a very, very minority pursuit, and HN is a massive bubble about it.
The best solution for the content industry as a whole would be to set up a clearing house, that provides access to all movies and series, streaming services should then be able to purchase the content they want on their service. That would allow the services to compete on the quality of their service, not their catalog. Let's face it consumers don't care if Star Wars is created by Disney or Warner Bros or that Breaking Bad is distributed by Sony.
Before the introduction of Apple Music it seemed like Spotify/Deezer/Tidal/Pandora/Google Music had the market divvied up pretty well, but because every time you tapped the 'Music' app your iPhone would nag you with 'would you like to try Apple Music?' a lot of people signed up, and Apple Music subscriber count shot up.
Spotify was the main and only thing around with MOG/Beats being a much smaller competitor alongside a few others like Napster/Rhapsody and Rdio before it went defunct.
This is unlike tv streaming which is more diversified and Apple can’t come in and give you everything like how it was with music.
I do $15 for netflix (4k, allows 4 streams. mom & bro use extra). I use Youtube Premium as it provides the best value to me (access to google play music & ad-free youtube/originals). That is another $11. I'd love to have CBS All-Access but thats not happening just for Star Trek. Maybe they will be changing their service after the CBS/Viacom merger which would give them a HUGE back catalog of good snack content to appease subscribers as they grow their originals.
The new disney+ bundle (with Hulu ad supported, and espn is $15 i think). Unbundle is $7.
Then you have HBO Max coming which should be AT LEAST $15 (the current price of HBO go).
I'd bet there will be a new crackdown on account sharing with these services to maximize subscriber count. Piracy is going to be coming back in a big way. Access to a friends PLEX account is gonna be the new happiness.
Amazon Prime went up around the time they bundle their online streaming. IIRC.
I'd like to have more choices and if I wanted a service or not.
I’m curious whether Apple has worked out a Disney bundle.
$10/mo seems high for their initial launch.
What I heard (and I thought it was announcement, not mere rumour) was that Disney+ was actively working to be available not only on Amazon devices, but actually as an add-on in Prime video the same way HBO Now and a number of other streaming services that are also standalones are.
I for one am excited about this and will probably subscribe. I spend a heck of a lot more than 120/year on a lot of random stuff that doesn’t provide nearly the value of this.
And I agree, Netflix goes for a wider breadth, but they have a significant number of quality and original content. Shows like Maniac, Our Planet, Russian Doll, Master of None, Ozark, Stranger Things, American Vandal and so on. There's something on there for everyone, and enough that you're never out of shows to watch.
I find the libruary is getting thinner. Quality shows produced outside of netflix are disappearing and no new replacements. Popular netflix shows are cancelled or the next season takes 1.5 years. Seasons are usually the minimum (10 shows or less).
Not sure netflix is going to win in the content war and may lose in the usability arena when other providers start launching have better browsing experiences.
Two under the radar shows: Bruno and Brownsville
Again, most of the shows I named in my previous post were from the last year alone. It is sometimes hard to find good stuff though in the huge pile of shows.
Especially when the scuttlebutt is that they're not going to be doing anything more risque than PG-13. It's true that not every good TV show needs constant swearing and gore and T&A to be good, but artists need the freedom to push envelopes. Apple TV+ is likely going to be as bland and generic as a friday night broadcast TV lineup.
Based on Apple’s previous forays into this space, I’m not sure it’s a given that the content will be better than what Netflix offers.
We can just all wait and see.
The question is whether it's worth $10, and that's on a par with what other services cost. It will depend primarily on their content, and to some lesser degree how easy it is to use. (Apple has an amazing, if unreliable, talent for hitting a sweet spot in feature levels.)
Maybe the humanity is not ready to be hooked into an entertainment computer that generates the infinite amount from the stuff that people like. Maybe there’s still space for artists and creative people.
But it will be in favor of Disney+, not AppleTV+.
I joke, the whole thing of paying 100/mo for a cable provider versus 10/mo for Netflix is slowly catching up. I already have 4 subscriptions that are nearing to half the local cable offering (albeit Australia is chock full of ads), and more are coming?
It will be an interesting space to watch over the next few years.
There's no toe dangling opportunity unless you can completely own a niche and scale up, and even that would be a relatively unproven approach.
This is what chrischen means by "I assume Netflix has troves of data on viewer preferences and what types of shows would work."
Compared to a few years ago the praise of Netflix no longer seems so effusive - whether because Netflix's stream of winning shows has dried up, or because hiring Kevin Spacey no longer seems so clever.
Which is a seventh of Netflix's spend. The streaming market is spend big or go home, and to be honest the biggest issue Apple has is that investment seems rather small so far.
They are so late to the game. Just yesterday there were articles here about subscription fatigue. After GoT ended, I dumped everything except a minimal Hulu subscription, and I'm starting to wonder why I'm keeping that around.
I have a lot of questions about this, including how they plan to sell me on their subscription model, which will clearly compete with the backlog of shows and movies that were already bought on iTunes at a price they were notorious for commodotizing, in addition to the other streaming services that they offer over their own hardware (Hulu, Netflix, HBO, CBS), all of which have their own content monopolies. The one thing that might do it for me is if they managed to get a monopoly on BigTen Network, that would get them a dedicated customer for 6 or 7 months out of the year, depending on how the season goes.
Because if they don't, I have a really hard time seeing Apple's content library at $10 competing at all with Disney+ at $7.
An alternate theory, Apple has other subscription services (Music and upcoming Arcade) that could be bundled together at a discount to give them a competitive offering.
Since they're finally trying to make a serious push on Apple TV as a gaming platform (in that it's getting PS3/XB1 controller support) it would make some sense to try and rope people into both subscriptions. If music rides along and gets people to switch from Spotify, that's a bonus.
And on a larger note in terms of media distribution and delivery, I feel like we’ve regressed to something even worse and more frustrating than the 20th century model
Remember that brief period when that thing where you had to decide which cable channels you wanted had died, and all you needed was Netflix, before the present day where you have to decide which of a whole handful of streaming service you should subscribe to?
This was never the case; Netflix always missed a huge chunk of content that cable providers had. Apple is just providing another service that provides more content. They're not "taking away" from you with this new service.
Think about this - for watching GoT I had to subscribe to HBO and to watch some Marvel movie I go to Disney Plus. I keep on switching.