Too Many Streaming Exclusives Is Already Starting To Piss Users Off

from the too-much-of-a-good-thing dept

So we've noted a few times now that the rise of streaming video competitors is indisputably a good thing. Numerous new streaming alternatives have driven competition to an antiquated cable TV sector that has long been plagued by apathy, high rates, and comically-bad customer service. That's long overdue and a positive thing overall, as streaming customer satisfaction scores suggest.

But as the sector matures and players rush to the trough, there's a looming problem it seems oblivious to: too many services, and too many exclusives, and too high a price point could drive users back to piracy. An ironic outcome for a sector that took years to learn the lesson that the best way to compete with piracy is to offer better, cheaper, simpler services.

It's the simplicity that's starting to unwind as every company on Earth rushes to capitalize on the streaming evolution and lock down their own content exclusives, fracturing availability. A new survey of more than 6,000 users around the world found that 70 percent of streaming customers say there’s now too many streaming options, and 87 percent worry it will become too expensive to keep up with all of them.

Granted, while the "streaming is getting too expensive" line is a media hot take that shows up a few times a week now, it's often over-stated; users don't have to subscribe to all of the services at once, and unlike traditional cable can subscribe and unsubscribe at their leisure to save money. That said, there's still a problem with fracturing content availability to the point where users have to manage a dozen account logins, or hunt and peck through a dozen services to find content that's endlessly appearing and disappearing due to ever shifting and exclusive licensing arrangements:

"...the study found that 67 percent of consumers already find toggling between multiple services frustrating. 58 percent of consumers found managing numerous logins annoying. And 45 percent say it’s already too difficult to find what they’re looking for.

Those findings were recently mirrored by a Deloitte study that found 47 percent of US consumers already suffer from what the firm called “subscription fatigue,” and 56 percent were frustrated by quickly changing licensing deals that make finding their favorite film or TV shows a chore.

Again, the rise of streaming competition is an indisputably good thing. And a lot of this will certainly be mitigated as also-ran services fail and fall by the wayside. But the industry as a whole still needs to be conscious of the fact that forcing consumers to hunt and peck through too many costly services to find the exclusive content they're looking for is going to make piracy more attractive. There's some preliminary data suggesting this may already be happening, with some studies suggesting piracy rates could easily double if users face too many exclusives and too high a price point.

Granted much of this will be dismissed by industry as just mindless whining by consumers, especially by the folks who still, after decades of clear data on this front, don't want to acknowledge that you need to compete with piracy.

Filed Under: exclusives, piracy, silos, streaming, tv


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  • icon
    rangda (profile), 8 Nov 2019 @ 10:58am

    "Again, the rise of streaming competition is an indisputably good thing."

    It's not really competition when every show is only available from one provider. Streaming is really a collection of mini-monopolies as each provider locks their own content behind their own paywall. They compete vs. cable but do not compete vs. themselves.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2019 @ 12:02pm

      Re:

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Bruce C., 8 Nov 2019 @ 12:05pm

      Re: Best of both worlds?

      It would be much simpler for consumers if, instead of a complete exclusive lockout, there was a one year or one season blackout, and after that the services would cross-license with each other. Each service would have the benefit of its hottest series all to itself, but consumers would be able to choose between "now or later" rather than "there or not there".

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2019 @ 2:41pm

        Re: Re: Best of both worlds?

        You are describing the current situation in computer gamine with the Epic game store and their exclusivity deals, which has the PC gaming community up in arms. It may not go over well in video streaming either, but it sounds preferable to having to subscribe to tons of different services.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 9 Nov 2019 @ 3:15am

          Re: Re: Re: Best of both worlds?

          "which has the PC gaming community up in arms"

          It has them up in arms mainly because it's a shoddy, feature-lacking service that requires yet another potential malware target without any perceivable gain for the end user to be installed, and because games that were previously announced for Steam are now not accessible for the Steam users who preordered them.

          I dare say the reaction to streaming services being upfront about this would be different. In fact, it already happens in some territories (for example, here in Spain, some season of Orange Is The New Black appeared on Movistar+ for a year before they got to Netflix)

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      • identicon
        nerdrage, 8 Nov 2019 @ 3:57pm

        Re: Re: Best of both worlds?

        The problem with all these ideas is that the corporations involved have to want to cooperate with each other and right now they're going into a savage deathmatch phase when only 4 or 5 of them will survive, having eaten the others.

        So first, we do the cannibal holocaust thing and then we get some "cooperation" in the manner of Fox and Hulu cooperating with Disney because Disney owns them.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2019 @ 4:02pm

      Re:

      Exactly - it's in the article tag. These aren't options with respect to delivery, they are silos.

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  • icon
    Mog666 (profile), 8 Nov 2019 @ 11:07am

    Compulsory licensing

    Should we push for compulsory licensing as a policy solution? Then they would all have access to each others content and would have to compete via customer service.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2019 @ 11:11am

      Re: Compulsory licensing

      If they have to compete for customer service, they'll all be trying to figure out new ways to lock in the sucke... er... viewers.

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    • icon
      nerdrage (profile), 8 Nov 2019 @ 4:00pm

      Re: Compulsory licensing

      Of all the things the government should work on, getting us easier access to The Mandalorian is not one of them. How about fixing the health care mess first? Oh yeah and climate change.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2019 @ 4:06pm

        Re: Re: Compulsory licensing

        If there are more pirates, global warming will begin to decrease.

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      • icon
        Mog666 (profile), 9 Nov 2019 @ 12:56am

        Re: Re: Compulsory licensing

        I expect my government to be able to do more than one thing at a time, there are hundreds of MP's and cabinet has different departments to focus on different area's of policy.

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        • icon
          nerdrage (profile), 11 Nov 2019 @ 9:15am

          Re: Re: Re: Compulsory licensing

          My government is headed by a buffoon named Trump and that's the government that would need to start ordering Netflix and Disney around. The orders that Trump would give to Netflix and Disney are funny to contemplate but not something I want to see become reality.

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 9 Nov 2019 @ 3:17am

        Re: Re: Compulsory licensing

        "How about fixing the health care mess first?"

        To be fair, this issue affects people who have decided to provide public healthcare as well.

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      • icon
        Thad (profile), 11 Nov 2019 @ 7:19am

        Re: Re: Compulsory licensing

        Why hello, fallacy of relative privation.

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      • identicon
        TheDumberHalf, 12 Nov 2019 @ 11:08am

        Re: Re: Compulsory licensing

        Isn't The Mandalorian already free to download on all those Russian streaming sites? I don't know why Disney bothered with a streaming service since all their content is already free.

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    • icon
      Coises (profile), 10 Nov 2019 @ 10:38pm

      Re: Compulsory licensing

      Yes, I think so.

      We have a prototype: the copyright holders of a song have the right to determine who releases the first recording of that song, but afterward anyone can cover it without permission or negotiation. Royalties are calculated by a formula; no one can hold a song hostage against simple performance by another artist.

      Similarly, once something is released for home viewing in any form (broadcast, streaming, disc, whatever), there should be a strict time limit — say, six months — after which any service can deliver that same content subject to a royalty that is determined without permission or negotiation.

      Then we could move on to open APIs and compulsory federation for user-generated content platforms and social media...

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  • icon
    K`Tetch (profile), 8 Nov 2019 @ 11:33am

    Amazon is the WORST for this

    We decide the other day, we want to watch the Rocky horror Picture Show as a family.

    Go to netflix, search, it's not there.
    go to Hulu, search, it's not there.
    Go to Prime video, oh look its there. Oh wait, no it's not.

    That amazon has so many entries for things that it doesn't have, and regularly throws them up in the search results or suggests them is one of the most aggravating things ever.

    Me to Youngest - "how about we watch Bab5 - when we last tried watchign it, you were like 5" (prompted by seeing Bab5 listed) "ok". Now, I think that this time, I'll go chronological order, so I go to the Bab5 movies thing, click 'In the Beginning' and... nope, not available - THEN WHY DID YOU OFFER ME IT, AND HAVE PAGES FOR IT LIKE IT WAS YOU OFFSPRING OF A CENTAURI-NARN RAPE!

    It's enough to drive me to torrent.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2019 @ 12:27pm

      Re: Amazon is the WORST for this

      You can't do In the Beginning first, there are spoilers!

      Even the pilot is a little rough to start with. It's better to see later as a "flashback" type experience, maybe between S1 and S2.

      Just start with S1E1.

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      • icon
        fairuse (profile), 8 Nov 2019 @ 11:47pm

        Re: Re: Amazon is the WORST for this

        Yep, s1e1 is the way. My Babylon 5 is on disks and Amazon Prime.

        Amazon search is crazy; the list of formats need work.

        The biggest problem will be when streaming service tells you your Smart TV or Roku will not support, for example, Netflix feature or DRM. My LEDHD Samsung is probably safe because I insist no built-in apps like Netflix and TV does not connect to WiFi.

        There is Amazon TV stick so I figure one day the words, Cannot Update This Device & Apps installed -- Msg: Error loading (App Name). Already Xfinity Stream detects the transport and refuses to mirror display on Kindle Fire HD.

        There is nothing consumer can do. Buy suggested model or do without. Sounds like iDUDs replacement.

        I have Comcast Cable TV and Gigabits internet. Netflix and Amazon Prime and thanks to AT&T I subscribe to Cinemax on Amazon (best monthly price); The disassembly of product lines will make everyone mad -- Cinemax is loved by writers and directors because suits understood the process of creating high quality series. Buy Banshee DVD/Blu-ray as insurance.

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        • icon
          Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 11 Nov 2019 @ 2:35am

          Re: Re: Re: Amazon is the WORST for this

          Uh, guys? Isn't the entire show on the B5 website and free to view?

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 11 Nov 2019 @ 3:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Amazon is the WORST for this

            Is it? I just had a look and the official site is just a redirect to WB and links from there to other streaming platforms. Do you have a link to the free site?

            Either way, this is just another indication of the problem. Sure, dedicated B5 fans might know that's where to get the series but the general public are going to just be looking on the apps they already use. People are more likely to pirate and/or just watch something else than they are to go on the current wild goose chase, even if the creators have actually offered the product on their own property.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2019 @ 6:52pm

      Re: Amazon is the WORST for this

      It might be on Disney+ (if Disney hasn't decided to Vault it).

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 11 Nov 2019 @ 3:04am

      Re: Amazon is the WORST for this

      Rather than try searching individual services, it's better to use an aggregator. The one I use is justwatch.com - you can restrict search by region and by provider if you wish, and it's usually pretty accurate in my opinion.

      WRT to the things you were looking for, it appears that while there's plenty of sites with Rocky Horror as an individual rental or purchase, it's not part of any subscription package. Meanwhile, Babylon 5 is listed as having all 5 seasons available on Prime, but the TV movies aren't there (only on Redbox for the one you're looking for, apparently).

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2019 @ 11:44am

    . . . could drive users back to piracy.

    Not could - already is.

    Pretty much of all my media consumption (that isn't already provided free/ad-funded) is pirated simply because I'm not managing a dozen plus subscriptions - at 8-10 dollars a pop - and leaving my payment information lying around in so many places simply compounds the risk that one (or more) of them will be lax with security.

    And at those prices, it quickly becomes cheaper to just get a basic cable subscription and call it a day.

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    • identicon
      Agammamon, 8 Nov 2019 @ 11:46am

      Re:

      My comment above.

      I tried Netflix for a while. Everything I wanted was physical media only. Want to watch a movie from 6 months ago? We'll ship it to you. Want to watch on from 30 years ago? We'll ship it to you.

      No thanks. I want to watch it now and even my shitty arse internet connection can get it for me inside of an hour.

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      • icon
        Yakko Warner (profile), 8 Nov 2019 @ 5:17pm

        Re: Re:

        As a counterpoint, this whole streaming mess is actually why I stick with Netflix. Netflix doesn't have it on streaming? Then I can get it shipped to me on disc. Doesn't matter who owns the streaming rights, they've already proven in court that no one can stop them getting and distributing the physical media.

        Of course, for me, being able to watch it immediately isn't a big deal, so I have no problem waiting for the disc to arrive in my mailbox before I get to watch it.

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    • identicon
      Whoever, 8 Nov 2019 @ 2:31pm

      Multiple services and Amazon

      This is how Amazon is going to win.

      I recently switched one streaming service from an independent service to a subscription via Amazon because:

      1. It was cheaper.
      2. It was more convenient.
      3. It's supported on more devices.

      I am sure that the service receives less money from me now that Amazon is getting its cut (and the price is lower via Amazon), although it's possible that the difference in their bandwidth cost might make up for that.

      HBO, likewise. Why would I sign up for their HBO Now service, when it is not supported on my Tivo, but HBO via Prime Video costs the same and does work on my Tivo?

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      • icon
        nerdrage (profile), 8 Nov 2019 @ 4:01pm

        Re: Multiple services and Amazon

        A few of these services can "win" in tandem. I figure Netflix, Prime, Disney+Hulu and HBO Max are the winners circle. They eat the others. Maybe Apple survives by going on a cannibal spree.

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      • icon
        fairuse (profile), 9 Nov 2019 @ 12:06am

        Re: Multiple services and Amazon

        The Tivo may be on the dead list anytime, but will just to annoy you, display Device not supported when you want to watch HBO. Cinemax via Amazon Prime is $4 less than Xfinity's price.

        The odd deals are going to mess up people who are not used to spending time playing match this mf'kr!

        Left Standing:
        5th -----------------------TBA
        3rd/4th Hulu is fox/disney+
        2nd/1st Netflix
        1st/2nd Amazon Prime

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2019 @ 11:56am

    On a side note, Samsung will lose native support for Netflix next month.

    https://techcrunch.com/2019/11/07/netflix-samsung-smart-tv-roku/

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  • icon
    JoeDetroit (profile), 8 Nov 2019 @ 12:16pm

    Yoda says

    Begun the Streaming War has.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2019 @ 12:20pm

    "Granted much of this will be dismissed by industry as just mindless whining by consumers..."

    Freely granted. It was not without great desire and effort that this industry monopolizes the "worst company in America" awards.

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  • identicon
    Pixelation, 8 Nov 2019 @ 12:52pm

    I like it

    I buy only what I really want. It helps me weed out things I don't. If it isn't worth another $5-$10/ month, probably isn't that interesting to me anyway. Star Trek is dead to me. CBS can suck it.

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  • icon
    ECA (profile), 8 Nov 2019 @ 1:01pm

    to many things happening..

    How much to charge for access?
    really strange as Cable pays them Pennies, and The company want Dollars..
    Who has What programs?
    they sell these back and forth to give 1 person/group ownership or even lease..and we have to run back and forth between 2 companies and pay twice+ as much.
    Companies that belong to None of the major concerns, Also get access to rent/own these videos..

    I loved watching the battle, as Hulu, having Many contracts all saying different things...
    HAd things setup..
    The Corp Tried to create their Own Server farms..
    What happens when 1,000,000 hot your 1 server farm and you dont have bandwidth, enough servers, cant handle all of it.
    The Cartoon Networks really loved this..
    Create Many sites for their cartoons, divide them up even more, then only give Snippets of the shows they have/had/rented.
    then advert every 5 min..Not really knowing What advert you were showing(got them in trouble with a condom commercial)
    ?free access if you are willing to put up with Commercials that last as long as the show??

    So, how convoluted can this get and how easy to fix it..
    why in hell not to use one of the established system already available..?
    Even YT is having problems, esp in the last 5 years. World wise uploads from Humans...Storing it the major factor. Even YT has a pay section and Free movie sections.. Only REAL step for YT is limiting the Time of storage..

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2019 @ 6:14am

      Re: to many things happening..

      And placing time limits on the existence of videos would screw over any channel that either has a episodic format or has archives/documentaries.

      Back in the 60's the BBC Wiped masters and prints for many shows, including Doctor Who. The home video market for TV in the UK wasn't viable at the time. Reruns weren't common if they happened at all. The masters and prints just took up space. So it made sense in the short term. There have been restoration and retrieval efforts for those Doctor Who episodes since at least 1992.

      When blip tv shutdown the channels that migrated to youtube were hit hard and took awhile to recover from it. They lost good chunks of videos at best and had to rebuild their viewer bases.

      We know from the past wiping footage is not the answer, so why would we want to do that intentionally?

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      • icon
        ECA (profile), 9 Nov 2019 @ 3:24pm

        Re: Re: to many things happening..

        I think they are down to 50 missing, out of over 300...for Dr. Who..

        In the USA I think its like 3 repositories of Film that were destroyed..Fires..and not updating from celluloid..
        We have lost so much from the B&W era's and beginning of Color that is almost stupid... then they complain that WE have made copies..

        TRY in the USA to get a Video recorder, at a reasonable price as well as record in all the formats..SD-HD..

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        • icon
          fairuse (profile), 9 Nov 2019 @ 5:59pm

          Re: Re: Re: to many things happening..

          Every digital camera I have including OnePlus 7 pro mobile is a Video Recorder. Point and shoot Nikon records 1080p. If you want glass and (favorite body), yeah finding gold at the beach is easier than getting low cost reliable setup.

          One test I did on Robin Williams 2002 NY HBO show was save it to hard drive at reduced frame. Solved storage errors. The stream limited how much video could be sent lacks enough frames to size up. Everyone knows but trying has interesting side effects. So, a Standard PAL format in not bright enough color sits around -- I watch it when moos strikes. Kitty segment is great.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2019 @ 1:24pm

    🏴‍☠️🏴‍☠️🏴‍☠️ ☠️☠️☠️

    🙄

    That is how this is likely to end.

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  • icon
    Gary (profile), 8 Nov 2019 @ 2:45pm

    Deregulation

    All we need is fewer annoying government regulations to fix this right up.

    Starting with the burdensome "Copyright" censorship regime, of course. Without an artificial government lock down on sharing it would be impossible to maintain "exclusives."

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    • icon
      nerdrage (profile), 8 Nov 2019 @ 4:03pm

      Re: Deregulation

      The ability of these companies to have exclusives on their content is the reason they are making such a tsunami of stuff now in the first place. If they had to share with others, it would be cat videos all around. They're not going to invest much in that.

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 9 Nov 2019 @ 3:26am

        Re: Re: Deregulation

        "If they had to share with others, it would be cat videos all around"

        Not only is that attitude proven very wrong . by many platforms, it's also telling of a very depressing attitude of the industry. "If we can't have 100% of something, nobody gets it". How sad that's the reason why people approve quality products.

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        • icon
          nerdrage (profile), 11 Nov 2019 @ 9:20am

          Re: Re: Re: Deregulation

          I've yet to see a free streaming service that is funding much of anything worth paying for. And I do like cat videos but I also like expensive multi-million-dollar entertainments such as YouTube has never funded.

          If the ad-supported business model was going to fund Game of Thrones type content, YouTube would have done it already. They've been in business for 14 years. What's the holdup?

          And the attitude of the industry may be depressing but there's nothing that's ever going to change it.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Nov 2019 @ 1:53pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Deregulation

            If the ad-supported business model was going to fund Game of Thrones type content, YouTube would have done it already.

            But isn't most OTA television add supported?

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      • icon
        Thad (profile), 11 Nov 2019 @ 3:00pm

        Re: Re: Deregulation

        The ability of these companies to have exclusives on their content is the reason they are making such a tsunami of stuff now in the first place.

        It's a reason, but the so-called "Golden Age of Television" we're currently in began before the rise of original content on paid streaming services. It can be traced back to premium-cable prestige series like The Wire, Deadwood, and Dexter, but it really kicked off with Mad Men and Breaking Bad on AMC.

        The trend has since moved to streaming services, but it started on cable TV.

        And while it's true that, for example, Netflix has jumped into the original content business because movie studios decided to pull up stakes and yank their films from the service, I can like the first part of that tradeoff without liking the second part.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2019 @ 10:49pm

      Re: Deregulation

      You wish to force the different platforms to host content they do not want to? They can license it now if they want.

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      • icon
        fairuse (profile), 9 Nov 2019 @ 12:34am

        Re: Re: Deregulation

        Distribution Rights are not something that can be 'deregulated'. Distribution Right is the big boss -look at the end credits of many TV shows, you will notice Warner Bros as distributor.What that means is WB has the power to make DVD, make deal with streamers and syndication.

        You can see what is going on by looking at who owns catalog, who owns distribution, who owns ISP and Cable TV.

        All of this is Big Business and Market will not suffer Copyright Reform at this time.

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      • identicon
        TFG, 9 Nov 2019 @ 9:49am

        Re: Re: Deregulation

        You wish to force the different platforms to host content they do not want to? They can license it now if they want.

        Nope, that's not what is proposed, and to the second point, not true in many cases.

        Compulsory licensing regulations don't force entities to buy licenses, but rather ensure that the owners cannot refuse to license the content. If properly implemented, what this would mean is that, should Netflix desire to carry a Disney movie or show, they could. Disney would still get a cut of the proceeds as per the licensing agreement, and if Netflix decided there wasn't a market for (for example) Snow White, Netflix is under no obligation to purchase the licensing rights to show that movie.

        The whole thing with streaming exclusives is that companies are decided to only allow certain content to be on specific platforms. So, no, "they" can't license these shows if they want to - the companies that own the content won't license it, even if asked.

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        • icon
          nerdrage (profile), 11 Nov 2019 @ 9:39am

          Re: Re: Re: Deregulation

          Well that's the thing that would never happen. Nobody in government is going to interfere with corporations to such a degree that they force Disney to start licensing their Star Wars content to Netflix, Amazon and HBO Max or force those platforms to license their own content too.

          Instead, if Netflix, Amazon and HBO Max are jealous of how kick-ass The Mandalorian looks, they should develop their own competing shows. Netflix is developing a Western tinged space show with Cowboy Bebop. If Amazon and HBO Max followed suit, we'd get four Western space operas instead of one, why is that a terrible thing?

          Actually it is, ha ha. It's the reason there is too much content now but there's no stopping these people. They will continue to go berzerk and flood us with more content than we can deal with. Maybe we need legislation to stop them or at least slow them down.

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          • identicon
            TFG, 11 Nov 2019 @ 2:54pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Deregulation

            Correct, it's, at this point, wishful thinking. The US of A operates under a culture of ownership, where culture itself can and must be owned by private individuals or entities.

            If there were instead an understanding that culture can only be leased from the public at large as a whole, for a limited time, there would be a chance.

            My own comment was made to dispel the misunderstanding of the person I was responding to.

            To go on the tangent, I find the idea of "Original Content" and our current culture of ownership to be laughable. Cowboy Bebop, for example, is a great, great show ... but it is, in the end, predicated off the idea of "Space Cowboy." It owes its existence and its greatness to stories that glorified the idea of the cowboy, and to science fiction writers who pioneered the concepts of space travel and explored ideas of what life would be like in those types of societies. It's a beautiful creation, but without what came before it, it would not exist.

            This is the case for just about everything - no author or artist operates in a vacuum, and culture builds on culture. To lock it down as belonging the way we do now is, to me at least, disrespectful to everything it built on.

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      • icon
        nerdrage (profile), 11 Nov 2019 @ 9:35am

        Re: Re: Deregulation

        I'm sure different plaforms would love to host competitors' content. Its the competitors that don't want others getting access to their content.

        It's like this. McDonald's would sue the holy heck out of Burger King if Burger King dared imitate and sell Big Macs under that name. So instead, Burger King invents the Whopper - a whole lot like a Big Mac but not named that, and with somewhat different ingredients - and everyone is happy and no one gets sued.

        So if competitors are jealous of Disney+ and The Mandalorian, they should feel free to create their own Western-tinged space opera series and in fact, Netflix is doing just that with their live action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop. Same basic genre but different enough that nobody would dream of suing anyone.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2019 @ 3:20pm

    Physical Discs

    Guess I'm going back to good ole physical discs for anything I actually want to watch more than once... Or I'm just going to stop watching pre-recorded entertainment all together...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 8 Nov 2019 @ 4:54pm

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    MikeVx (profile), 8 Nov 2019 @ 8:16pm

    Is there a point to streaming...?

    Between the fragmentation and importing most of the worst habits of broadcast and cable, is there any reason to bother with streaming?

    In the apparently unlikely event that more than one streaming service can manage not to overload the screen with overlay crap and and ads (even if it is an ad for other programming on the service, an ad is an ad, and I will not pay for that sort of mistreatment), it is unlikely that any non-specialty service will have enough programming of interest to be worth it. I am looking into one service that may have its act together. The only one I have heard of that does. Given the price, I hope they allow multiple streams and aren't on the "password sharing" bandwagon that providers run down account splitting with. We'll see.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2019 @ 5:36am

    Considering all the subliminal advertising and propaganda that permeates society at every level, how does one separate the entertainment from the bullshit?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2019 @ 9:02am

    criticizing a "hot take" then going on to prove it's point is a rather stupid way of structuring the post.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Slow Joe Crow, 9 Nov 2019 @ 3:17pm

    What the executives seeking a bigger piece of pie by setting up exclusive streaming don't seem to realize it there are two pies, the revenue pie and the consumer expenditure pie. I allocate a fixed amount of money to streaming services, and I have already decided I can live without exclusive content that exceeds that cap. If I am the majority and gotta have its are the minority, revenue will fail to meet expectations and executives will be whining about piracy because admitting nobody wants their products is inconceivable.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nerdrage (profile), 11 Nov 2019 @ 9:42am

      Re:

      Oh they know what the game is, namely that consumers are going to balk at subscribing to more than 2 or 3 of these services at a time which means the cutoff bar for success will be very high and the losers who don't clear the bar will be eaten by the winners. This is an existential fight but they do need to fight it out because nobody is going to give up willingly.

      Winners: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+Hulu and HBO Max. Apple will win only if they go on a buying spree and snap up the losers (CBSViacom, the entertainment portion of Sony, Lionsgate, AMC, Discovery) and maybe Netflix too. Apple has money, they just need the will.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    nasch (profile), 9 Nov 2019 @ 3:44pm

    Prisoners

    It's a bit of a prisoner's dilemma. Perhaps the market would be better off as a whole if everyone licensed everyone else's content, thus keeping piracy at bay. However, for any given provider it's in their best interest to keep their content exclusive and get everyone else to license theirs. The only solution is for all the big services to agree to open at once, which doesn't seem likely.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nerdrage (profile), 11 Nov 2019 @ 9:45am

      Re: Prisoners

      You got it. Nobody is going to license content to help competitors win. They'd rather let pirates help them drive the weaker competitors under so the winners can buy them and then make use of their brands.

      Or to make this more concrete: CBSViacom makes Star Trek exclusive to its service. But it's too small so people don't subscribe, they just pirate Star Trek. This accelerates CBSViacom's demise and one of the stronger competitors like Amazon or Apple buy them and then they get to use Star Trek for their own profit.

      Pirates help big corporations get bigger. All these corporations think they're the king of the hill or are trying to be, so they don't mind pirates helping cull the herd.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2019 @ 3:47pm

    Gary putting "exclusives" in scare quotes even though that's what tons of these shows in fact are in every single respect is hilarious.

    If a company fully bankrolls a TV show/movie/etc., then it's pretty much theirs, and they should be able to use it in order to compete with other companies who're doing the same with the stuff that they bankroll. This has led to an explosion of content from numerous studios all looking to differentiate themselves and attract eyeballs and subscribers, with said content only existing because these services seek to compete with one another. If Netflix just kept getting anything and everything from TV networks and movie studios, stuff like Stranger Things, The Dragon Prince, Love Death & Robots, the She-Ra reboot, or Devilman Crybaby probably never would've existed.

    The bidding wars for exclusivity rights to this or that show from someone else don't bother me either. This is because, as an anime fan, it's led to more new anime coming out internationally than ever before and old anime gaining new audiences. Netflix rescuing Neon Genesis Evangelion from its licensing/rights limbo and bringing it to streaming, with the purpose of using it to compete with other streaming platforms is a massive win. HBO Max struck an exclusive deal with Studio Ghibli to bring their movies to streaming for the first time ever. Crunchyroll and Funimation run massive back catalogues of old anime going back decades. Various streaming services are also now directly investing in the production of anime to gain exclusive streaming rights to them.

    This competition is allowing new stuff to get made, ensuring that stuff that would've still otherwise existed is more widely available, and bringing old stuff back from out of the aether so that more people can enjoy it.

    But people who've forgotten how this streaming landscape that we have right now is still infinitely more convenient and cheaper than most cable bundles continue to flip their collective shit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      fairuse (profile), 9 Nov 2019 @ 7:45pm

      Re:

      Gary also put, single quote:Copyright:single quote, The streaming history has had more than a few Charlie Brown and Lucy's football results. I'm not including AOL and pre-Napster attempted streaming only to devolve into file sharing.

      Comcast wanted "TV Everywhere" ("TV Anywhere" maybe?) to draw in subscribers and of course content. Just think what Labels/Broadcast thought: I'm sure something like this, (..) cable wants to let customers watch Prime Time shows via Internet! Our very profitable shows -- Stick a sharp stick in my eye so I can't look at such a screen. Got real crazy but here we are. A note: Fancast and Hulu were the two efforts that either got a system that works or the football goes home again. I honestly think if the tech to secure streams was not found - New gang war. Reckon :Comcast/Universal/NBC/NBCu" is catchy?

      Content Vaults and their handlers + secret stuff consolidates from many interests to a few who had some idea which path to take. This took forever and lots of money in this consolidate content or drive a beach tourist bus. The few conspire to control what TV shows we see,some say. Well duh, Fall TV Guess-Build-Pray-Premier-RatingBullet is broadcast thing. Streaming allows experiments that don't die in planning because advertiser backs out on 1st scene he/its brain was trained to say, they can't do [all the stupid that fundamentalists can say]

      We got lucky. The same format still is PT. Singing Fury! This scifi version of TV Everywhere was far from easy or pure luck --shame about the monthly price. Turf War iII begins. Exclusive Content must be the quality consumers are used to, Cinemax does what it does, stay in the office AT&T.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      TheDumberHalf, 12 Nov 2019 @ 11:17am

      Re:

      It would be fine and dandy for owners to retain exclusive rights to deliver content if it weren't for anti-trust law. The whole reason anti-trust was established was to break up monopolies. Exclusive Production, distribution and delivery doesn't exactly create competition.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 10 Nov 2019 @ 4:11am

    The old video store days were a lot more fun--join one and get access to everything. Stopping by on the way home from work to see what's new--just like going to the grocery. Yeah, living in a physical world...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 11 Nov 2019 @ 7:20am

      Re:

      Ah yes, the good old days of getting hammered with $70 in late fees for a tape that cost $20 brand new.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 11 Nov 2019 @ 7:39am

        Re: Re:

        Or, paying a fee because you didn't have time to wait for it to rewind, or having a rental tape that got chewed up in the player, or degraded because the last guy who rented it kept rewinding to watch the nude scene, or a DVD that was scratched and wouldn't play the end of the movie, or getting to the store and they don't have a copy of the film you actually wanted to watch.

        There were some advantages, but it sure as hell wasn't all good.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 11 Nov 2019 @ 7:40am

      Re:

      "join one and get access to everything"

      Everything? Either you had a really big video store growing up, or you have limited taste.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nerdrage (profile), 11 Nov 2019 @ 9:47am

        Re: Re:

        My local Blockbuster was awful. I never got there fast enough to get anything good. The shelves would be bare and I'd pay $5 to rent some crap I didn't want.

        Netflix never had "everything" either. HBO never licensed content to them for starters. Netflix DVD was as close to everything as we ever got. And I still get their DVD service too.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Nov 2019 @ 8:23am

    So there are 12 months in a year. For me, that means 12 different streaming services. Sign up for 1 at a time. For Example, CBS All Access, you want to see the new Picard early next year. I think it starts in January. So make Feb or March the CBS All Access month. So that when the season is over or about over, you sign up and binge-watch the whole season and then anything else you may want.

    The hardest part is figuring out which streaming service you sign up for and for which month. Maybe you don't have or need 12 different ones. Maybe some months you have nothing. and maybe you have 2 months out of the year for one service, split every 6 months.

    There is already so much crap to watch on TV as it is. Signing up for all is silly.
    I get my normal broadcast channels by my large Antenna. I also always like to say is, "What you can't see, you can't miss."

    You can also hold onto Netflix all year if you want while cycling through other streaming services. The point being, there is no need to sign up for everything. At some point, all this crap will settle down and straighten up. There's just not enough people to sign up and stay signed up every month.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Nov 2019 @ 9:37am

    users don't have to subscribe to all of the services at once
    For now.

    Anyone who doesn't think these subscription services won't force customers into 1 or 2 year agreements within the next few years is retarded.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Justin, 12 Nov 2019 @ 12:48pm

    Starting to apply to online game stores as well

    While this write-up is about video streaming, it certainly also applies to the gaming world, especially as new stores start trying to challenge Steam's market share, with exclusives such as Epic Games Store getting Borderlands 3 (while all prior BL games are available on steam), exclusively for something like a year before it's allowed anywhere else. Competition is good. EXCLUSIVES tend to be bad. This gets even worse for completionist collectors who get told "if you buy this game from best buy, you get X exclusive bonus, but if you buy it from gamestop, you get Y exclusive bonus". Apart from buying the game twice, there's no way to get BOTH bonuses, and certainly not on the same account, in the case of games that use that for online play. A store should be competing on how well it delivers products to the customer, NOT competing on which products it's allowed to deliver. It should be focusing on adding value to using its platform (whether it's streaming, or gaming libraries), outside of the content itself. As a couple quick examples, steam's very easy integration of friends and the ability to quickly invite someone to join your game, or their game streaming tech. These are things that make ALL of their content better. Exclusives just piss customers off. I'd say this also applies to console exclusives but I can't, as that actually involves development resources that are platform-specific, and I can understand not being able or willing to develop something on all available platforms.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2019 @ 4:43am

    I think the biggest difference is people can swap about from month to month - get bored of the content on one? Swap to another for a bit

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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