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  • Mar 27th, 2018 @ 7:06pm


    Failure of some of these businesses, not business models per se. The streaming business model rewards bigness and severely penalizes anything less than very big bigness. That will cause a consolidation and limit the number of successful services.

  • Mar 27th, 2018 @ 7:04pm


    Because these companies are capitalistic competitors who exist in order to drive the other guy out of business. Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Hulu, etc - all the same. They want to win it all. They have to fight to the death. A few survivors will emerge, bigger than ever since they will eat the losers. It's already happening - Disney is gobbling up Fox. That's just the start.

  • Mar 27th, 2018 @ 7:03pm

    Re: Apt example

    The rational market will result in a sort of cross-licensing as most of these players go under and are bought by the few survivors. Streaming can't support a huge array of competitors when consumers subscribe to a couple and then stop. And always the couple biggest. That's going to create a very high cutoff bar for success.

  • Mar 27th, 2018 @ 7:01pm

    Re: Re: a silver lining?

    Consider Netflix's license for Star Trek Discovery. They get it in most of the world, and it no doubt is contributing to helping them ramp up subscribers overseas. It's a huge win for them.

    But CBS made that show so that they could launch their own Netflix competitor. They are only licensing it Netflix because they have no global streaming footprint (yet). If CBS thought Americans could easily VPN their way into a foreign Netflix subscription and get access to the show, then CBS would be shooting themselves in the foot to license it to Netflix. So they would license it in the usual willy nilly patchwork fashion and Netflix would lose out big time because they wink at VPNs.

    And that is really why Netflix cracked down on VPNs. They realized the harm VPNs were doing to their ability to swing great deals like Star Trek Discovery greatly outweighed the ire of a few subscribers who use them.

    More services won't lead to more region locking since to prosper, they need the scale you can get only by being global (which is CBS's long term plan - if they succeed, Netflix will lose their license to Star Trek as CBS can handle distribution in each country they expand to). You will however get content locking. Star Trek will be behind CBS's paywall across the whole world - IF CBS succeeds in their attempts to become a Netflix competitor. The jury is way out on that one.

  • Mar 27th, 2018 @ 6:54pm

    Re: Yep, it's a problem

    Here's the problem, if you're the Duffer Brothers and want to get someone to distribute your Stranger Things show, the streaming services won't give you the time of day unless you give them an exclusive because exclusives are how Netflix convinces people to subscribe to their service and not another. If Stranger Things were on every service, it would be of value to none of the services. No competitive advantage.

    If the Duffer Brothers won't agree to exclusivity, Netflix says no, and so does every other streaming service. You don't see CBS shows on ABC and vice versa, do you? Same idea.

    Now if someone like David Lynch came along and made some series that he insisted play on every streaming services, I guess he could get away with it because he's a big draw. But most creators just want an audience so they will sign on the dotted line.

  • Mar 27th, 2018 @ 6:49pm


    Hmm? On Netflix alone:

    Orange is the New Black, Glow, Ozark, Mindhunter, Bojack Horseman, Lemony Snicket, Stranger Things, The OA, Fauda, Berlin Babylon, Santa Clarita Diet, Frankenstein Chronicles, and Better Call Saul.

    And they've got The Godfather Parts I and II now, too. That seems like plenty. But I haven't mentioned the plethora of fine nature documentaries they have.

  • Mar 27th, 2018 @ 6:47pm


    Netflix will benefit from this. People will subscribe to one or two big services, maybe three if they're feeling flush. But at that point, it's not so much about money as time. Who has time to watch all this stuff? Two services can fill all your time. If you have to see this or that specific show, then you pirate it since it's not worth subscribing to any service just for one silly show.

    So in the end, the very biggest services will be unhurt, while the ones below a certain high cutoff point will find that everyone is pirating their shows. They will go under and their shows will cease production or, if popular enough, be purchased by one of the surviving services.

  • Mar 27th, 2018 @ 6:42pm


    CBS still thinks they can join the winner's circle in the end, and become a massive global streaming service a la Netflix and Amazon. But with Disney and Apple jumping in, I'm not betting on them going the distance. There's going to be a high cutoff point for success since consumers don't want a dozen services and tend to stop with 2 or 3. And there is a lot of overlap in those 2 or 3, you can probably figure out who.

    Star Trek is CBS's attempt to jump into that winner's circle. If they fail, they will be dismembered and bought up by the winners a la Fox. Netflix would probably love to buy some of their IP.

  • Mar 27th, 2018 @ 6:39pm

    Re: Re: Why is this a problem?

    Here's the most likely outcome: people will opt to subscribe to a couple services - the biggest with the biggest range of content - and if they see something on a smaller service, they think "nah not worth bothering with" and pirate that.

    This will benefit a small number of the largest services (Netflix, Amazon, maybe Disney because they have the brands, maybe Apple because they have the money to buy their way in and wait out everyone else).

    The cutoff bar for success will be high because everyone who falls below a certain tolerance threshold for bothering with their service will see their stuff get pirated. Then those services go under and either the content ceases production or if its popular enough, is bought up as an exclusive by one of the survivors.

  • Mar 27th, 2018 @ 6:34pm


    Netflix and Amazon have no advertising.

  • Mar 27th, 2018 @ 6:33pm

    Re: Entertainers Assemble!

    You're talking about capitalistic entities whose modus operandi is to kill the other guys and take their customers away. They're not set up to cooperate.

    But their competitive mindset, combined with consumer confusion and preference for just the very biggest services (where they can find enough content not to bother with the rest) points to a likely conclusion: there will be a small number of very large global streaming companies that end up with all the content, because they will drive everyone else who produces or distributes content under, and then buy up the useful parts.

    Like the way Fox is being broken up with Disney most likely buying the parts they can use to assemble into their own global streaming behemoth of the future.

  • Mar 27th, 2018 @ 6:15pm

    (untitled comment)

    Piracy doesn't really matter since this is a battle over the paying customers. If someone doesn't want to pay for content, so be it. Why fight over that person?

    Netflix has 117 million customers willing to pay, Amazon has maybe 26 million who watch their video, Hulu has 17 million, all those numbers will grow. The way to make those numbers grow: exclusive content. It gives a person a reason to opt for this service over that. The strategy works, it will continue.

  • Sep 28th, 2017 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Manifestly, only thing that doesn't drive some to piracy is giving away all for free.

    The economics of streaming only work at huge global scale. At some point, efficiencies of scale will kick in for Netflix and they can keep ramping up customers without ramping up content costs at the same rate.

    But Netflix's scheme has never been tried, so how do you know if it will work? We'll know it has failed when they go out of business. Until then...who knows.

  • Sep 28th, 2017 @ 4:29pm

    Re: Oh Hells no

    Netflix and Amazon ARE content providers and you apparently do pay directly for their service. CBS's goal is to become more attractive than those so you will switch. There's nothing tried and true about Netflix and Amazon. They've only been in this business a few years.

  • Sep 28th, 2017 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Re: this is bigger than piracy

    Oh I don't know. At global scale, the services won't have much need to jack up prices and the ease of switching will inhibit excess greed. As libraries s

    Remember, cable behaves badly because they have monopoly power and don't have to do things like make it easy for customers to switch between services.

    Sadly since cable can morph into the iSP business, we can't shake those morons loose...

  • Sep 28th, 2017 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Good thing

    All these streaming services aren't going to survive the coming nasty shakeout period. Having a favorite show might get them sampled but what keeps people subscribing is having a huge library that is too attractive to give up.

  • Sep 28th, 2017 @ 1:15pm


    If CBS is going to make a go of this, they need a lot more than one stupid series, even one with the Star Trek label slapped on. They need to develop a whole lot more, direct for streaming, not crap ported over from broadcast, because people have higher standards for streaming than a lot of vanilla broadcast shows.

    If CBS is smart, they will understand this and realize it will take them years to build up their service. Probably need a few Star Trek series on concurrently and a whole lot more stuff. I have heard they're developing a couple streaming only series, and they do sound more Netflix like than CBS like, so that's a start.

  • Sep 28th, 2017 @ 1:12pm

    Re: I'm not really bothered by this

    "The list of shows I want to watch is already too long."

    LOL same here. FX is having a fit at Netflix so they're yanking all their shows. I just noticed Louie is leaving at the end of Oct. Dammit and I never got a chance to watch the two freaking years that I had in on my queue...what are the odds I'd watch it in the next two freaking years or ever?

    Take it away FX. Thanks for helping me manage the chaos.

  • Sep 28th, 2017 @ 1:07pm

    Re: Re: Is it a bad thing?

    It would not be better for CBS to put their content on Netflix and Amazon. Then they help Netflix and Amazon grow into global behemoths who have sequestered the entire paying audience for streaming - theoretically a billion people and growing - in their own walled gardens. Then when CBS wants to put their little Star Trek show on Netflix or Amazon, who do you think will have all the negotiating power then? The people with a database full of a billion credit card numbers they hit for ten bucks each month, that's who.

    A little piracy is a small price for CBS to pay to avoid the terrible fate of the mere content producer in the future, competing with the myriad of other content producers desperate for distribution, and make a play to become one of the global behemoths who call all the shots. There's a lot at stake here, which is why everything has gone nuts.

  • Sep 28th, 2017 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Is it a bad thing?

    The only reason we are getting Star Trek at all is because CBS wants to make a play in the streaming market.

    Let them fight and knock each other off. We'll end up with just a few because of competitive pressure. Bigness is what people want in a service. They want a huge library and range of choice. This will result in a few big fish that gobble the smaller fish.

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