by Nicholas Moran ’20
Frustrated from having to buy expensive cable TV packages filled with unwanted channels, consumers have flocked to Netflix in droves. Media giants watched in horror as thousands of consumers “cut the cord” and escaped from under the crushing weight of their cable bill, leaving the cable TV business in ruin.
Suddenly ratings plummeted, stocks nosedived, and former powerhouse stations, like ESPN, were forced to fire hundreds. Yet now that the dust from the chaos has settled, companies like Disney have discovered a solution.
Instead of letting Netflix stream Disney content, starting in 2019, Disney will launch its own service, joining a growing list of Netflix competitors.
If you want the giant cable bills that Netflix ended to remain things of the past, do not subscribe! Do not let this streaming arms race grow until everyone will have to pay for dozens of services—stop streaming from becoming cable.
Once major Disney movies, like the Star Wars franchise, or Marvel TV shows, like Daredevil, leave Netflix for Disney’s service, some may cave and pay $10 more per month for “just one more.”
Dave Morgan, chief executive officer of marketing technlogy company Simulmedia, told The New York Times that Disney will not be the last new streaming service, because “everyone is arming up.” No one wants to be left out of the streaming boom, especially since the market is filled with youth that could be paying customers for decades.
According to a study reported by CNN, 80 percent of Millennials use streaming, a massive chunk of the largest generation in American history.
With untold riches in their sights, Amazon, Hulu, CBS, and HBO have already “arm[ed] up,” and the list of new services only continues to grow.
Soon “cord-cutters” could be paying $10 monthly to watch sports on ESPN streaming, another $10 each for Facebook and Disney, and additional costs for whoever else joins in on what The New York Times called a “gold rush.”
Yet as each company pulls their content from Netflix and launches a competitor, each service will have less and less content. Netflix has already watched its movie selection wither away, as they now offer 38 percent less of IMDB’s top 250 movies than they did five years ago.
Ultimately, each service may only be able to offer its own original content, pressuring customers to once again pay mammoth bills for a myriad of services so they do not miss out on their favorite shows.
However, the days of paying for thousands of unwanted cable channels do not have to return. If consumers simply refuse to pay for more than a couple of services, companies will be forced to license content to established services like Netflix.
As media analyst James McQuivey told CNN, consumers often cut back on streaming services when they have to “choose from a sea of content [and] reach a point of exhaustion.” All of your favorite shows and movies can remain on just one or two sites, streaming can remain inexpensive, but only if consumers say no to companies like Disney.
Make the decision for yourself, stop the onslaught of new streaming services, stop cable from rearing its ugly head under a different name. Your wallet will thank you.