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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  1. 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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