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

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

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


    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.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.