The Streaming Service Monopoly

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The exciting, binge worthy shows we love and share with our friends no longer seem to be on cable where production studios like Warner Bros. and Universal rule the roost. We hear our loved ones and trusted televisions critics raving about series exclusive to online streaming services such as Netflix and HULU. Online streaming has changed the game and is dragging the attention and revenue away from traditional, big name production.

On streaming services, there is a mass amount of content readily available for subscribers to binge at their pleasure. A huge reason why people are drawn to streaming services is for the ability to power through a series in one sitting, to watch it whenever they want and to not have a DVR filled with recordings.

With the ability to binge comes trouble. According to this Readers Digest article, 61% of Netflix subscribers engage in binge watching. Sitting for hours at a time evidently leads to some health risks. Netflix is taking this into account and creating shows that force you to stop watching after one episode. These series are talk shows hosted David letterman and Chelsea Handler, but they still have the luxury of no ads.

Streaming services like Netflix and HULU are consuming celebrities and writing talent fast. Chelsea handler and Tina Fey have both discussed in interviews how Netflix is the best boss ever. Netflix is pulling in stars like David Chappelle — who has been incognito for years — Chris Rock, and everyone from Full House.  This article for variety details why actors and writers like working for Netflix. The bottom line seems to be that Netflix executives don’t cramp creativity and they give you as much money to create shows as you want.

Streaming used to be a logistical nightmare for producers and movie stars a like. How could they reap the profits of their hard work if someone can just watch their content for free online? Netflix and HULU have changed that. The entertainment industry understands that the number of chord cutters is growing and is expected hit around 27.1 million in 2018. Streaming services are like the snacks that vegans still indulge in that are technically vegan but still terrible for you — i.e. Oreos.

We still need those big studios to produce the blockbusters that we all line up to see. But until they figure something else out, it seems they may be on the decline for successful televisions series.

sophia cleugh