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The Great Streaming Battle Is Here. No one is safe.



A new era is about to entertain in the entertainment world, and you are about to make a whole lot more choices – for better or worse. The streaming wars are here.

Titans media and technology are betting that consumers will pay them a monthly fee to stream TV and movies over the Internet.

Walt Disney Co.


DIS 3.76%

launches a service of $ 6.99 per month next week, following Apple Inc.'s listing earlier this month.

AT&T Inc.


T -0.10%

and

Comcast Corp.


CMCSA 1.10%

& # 39; s NBCUniversal next year will mount its own challenges for streaming juggernaut Netflix Inc.

Fighting fights on the same battlefield, all trying to lure subscribers, but they have radically different motivations – and some have far more at stake than others.

Legacy giants such as Disney and AT & T's WarnerMedia compete to reinvent their core media business, which is undermined when consumers turn away from traditional broadcast and cable TV. For them, selling streaming subscriptions to consumers must work – and it must be profitable. While streaming can promote business for Apple, failure is an option for Apple.

Consumers want choice when new entrants join the contest: Americans are willing to spend an average of $ 44 monthly on video streaming and subscribe to an average of 3.6 services, according to a survey of over 2,000 people in the past the days of The Wall Street Journal and Harris Poll. That's about $ 14 from what most people pay now.

But with so many existing players already on the market – including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, CBS All Access and ESPN + – not everyone can win. "This market needs to shake out – it doesn't feel like all these players can continue to play this game forever," said David Wertheimer, a former president of digital products at Fox Networks Group, which is now the media and technical investor.

Netflix is ​​in an enviable position with a big head start, but may be in some turbulence. Nearly one in three Netflix subscribers said they are likely to cancel the service over the next three months to accommodate a new entrant, according to the Journal-Harris Poll survey. About 43% of parents with children under the age of 18 said they would likely cancel, as did 44% of men between the ages of 18 and 34.

Their stated intentions cannot lead to actual cancellation. There are currently 158 million Netflix subscribers globally.

Like any subscription business, Netflix has regular customer turnover, and some of those who cancel cancel eventually. "Like the competition, polls come and go," said a Netflix spokesman. "But many years of experience have taught us that consumers want control over when and how they look – and a wide variety of quality stories in all genres. And that's what we've always focused on offering."

Streaming Views [19659017] The Wall Street Journal and Harris Poll conducted a survey of approximately 2,000 adults to gauge how much they use power services now and how these habits may change as competition intensifies.

Respondents to the WSJ-Harris Poll survey

probably subscribe

to Disney +.

will probably subscribe

to HBO Max.

will probably subscribe to Peacock *.

will probably subscribe

to Apple TV + [19659027] by Netflix subscribers who are likely to cancel to make room for new streaming services .

by Netflix subscribers is likely to cancel

to make room for n

for parents

for minors.

89% of those likely to subscribe said Star Wars, Pixar and Marvel are major drawbacks.

of those who have HBO TV channel or HBO Now are likely to convert.

of those likely to subscribe say availability of older shows is important in their decision.

of millennial men will probably subscribe.

The amount Americans are willing to spend per month to stream their entertainment.

of cable / satellite TV subscribers are considering cutting over the next year.

states that new / original shows and movies make them more likely to subscribe to a service.

The number of streaming services Americans are willing to pay for.

Respondents to the WSJ-Harris Poll Survey

for parents of minors.

89% of those likely to subscribe, said Star Wars, Pixar and Marvel are major drawbacks.

will probably subscribe

to Disney +.

of those who have HBO TV channel or HBO Now are likely to convert.

will probably

subscribe

to Apple TV +

will probably subscribe to Peacock *.

of those who are likely to subscribe say the availability of older shows is important in their decision. [19659051] of respondents are likely to subscribe to Apple TV +

of millennial men will likely subscribe.

by Netflix subscribers is likely to cancel

to make room for new streaming services †

of those pointed to popular old shows available elsewhere.

The amount Americans are willing to spend per month to stream the entertainment.

The number of power services Americans are willing to pay for.

of cable / satellite TV subscribers are considering cutting the cord over the next year.

states that new / original shows and movies make them more likely to subscribe to a service.

Respondents to the WSJ-Harris Poll survey

of Netflix subscribers are likely to cancel

to make room for new streaming services †.

will probably subscribe

to Disney +.

will probably subscribe

to HBO Max.

will probably subscribe to Peacock *.

is probably

to subscribe

to Apple TV +

for parents

to minors.

89% of those likely to subscribe said Star Wars, Pixar and Marvel are major drawbacks.

of those who have HBO TV channel or HBO Now are likely to convert.

of those likely to subscribe say the availability of older shows is important in their decision.

of millennial men will probably subscribe.

of those featured on popular old shows available elsewhere.

The amount Americans are willing to spend per month to stream on entertainment.

of cable / satellite TV subscribers are considering cutting the cable over the next year.

states that new / original shows and movies make them more likely to subscribe to a service.

The number of streaming services Americans are willing to pay for.

Respondents to the WSJ-Harris Poll survey

are likely to subscribe

to Disney +.

will probably subscribe

to HBO Max.

will probably subscribe to Peacock *.

will probably

to subsc ribe

to Apple TV +

by Netflix subscribers will probably cancel

to make room for new streaming services †.

The amount Americans are willing to spend per month to stream the entertainment.

The number of power services Americans are willing to pay for.

states that new / original shows and movies make them more likely to subscribe

to a service.

of cable / satellite TV subscribers are considering cutting the cable next year.

Shoots have already been fired, with Apple and Disney setting ultra-competitive prices and lavish spending by all parties to stock their services with the hottest programming, whether it be originals from a coveted manufacturer or through 20-year-old TV completions -klassiker. The explosion of alternatives risks confusing consumers. What service does "The Office" have, "Seinfeld" and "Friends"? How do you register?

"The next 18 months will be the most interesting in the history of the entertainment business – the rationale is changing," said Hollywood veteran Steve Mosko, CEO of the production company Village Roadshow Entertainment, which is developing multiple streaming outlets.

Franchises and Oldies

Disney surprised the media world with a low price for its Disney + streaming service which is almost half of Netflix & # 39; s most popular $ 12.99 monthly plan: Some 47% of respondents probably asked for a Disney + subscription . Many were particularly excited about the major franchisees – such as Star Wars and Marvel – as well as the large catalog of children's classics, from "Cinderella" to "Aladdin" to "Moana." Disney bought entertainment benefits at 21st Century Fox last year for $ 71.3 billion.

Disney is now creating a land for users now and worrying about profits later – that's expected to be smooth in service in 2024. ”They thought through pricing. This is about gathering consumers, says the analyst

Michael Nathanson.

Disney's direct contact with the customer base has mostly come through theme parks, Nathanson said, and the streaming service will allow "a deeper set of connections." Disney could market consumer products, cruises or theme parks to streaming customers. , said some media executives.

Walt Disney Co. is known for its hit movies and theme parks, such as Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. But the company is looking for a new streaming service called Disney + that drives for future results.


Photo:

Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda / Zuma Press

A Disney spokeswoman declined to comment.

Hulu, now controlled by Disney, will be home to more grown-up and cozier prices. Disney announced earlier this week that FX Networks would also produce original shows for Hulu.

Comcast takes a different path from its peers, reflecting its identity as not only a content owner, but as the nation's leading cable distributor. Peacock, the streaming service from its NBCUniversal unit, will launch next April, with a host of classics such as "The Office", "Frasier" and "Cheers", plus originals from talent in NBC's stable. An ad-supported version will be free for people who subscribe to Comcast's cable TV or broadband services. If the company can reach agreements with other cable providers, it may also be free for their customers.

For some observers, it suggests that Comcast wants to protect a traditional cable business that is still lucrative, even though cord cutting is a siphoning of customers gradually. "The streaming business places them in a conflict-ridden place," she said

Gary Newman,

a former chairman of the Fox TV group. "It's hard to be part of streaming without being fully involved in streaming."

People near Comcast said that the company is deeply committed to the streaming industry and is simply taking a different approach.

Comcast discusses different ways to sell peacocks to those who can't get it through a cable provider. One idea is to offer a limited, free version of ads intended to attract users – it may not have different hit shows or may limit the number of episodes available, say people familiar with Comcast's overlay. Another team would charge a modest subscription fee and would make all content available with ads, while a third tier would require a higher ad-free subscription fee, the people said.

NBC's premier broadcasting programs are now streaming on Hulu. Upon launch, Peacock will be able to share much of that content, and in September 2022, NBCUniversal will be able to terminate the deal and have most NBC shows exclusively on Peacock, if it chooses, said people familiar with the deal.

AT&T will be the last of the major entertainment companies participating in the battle, and their HBO Max service was launched for a launch in May 2020. The biggest challenge: It will be at the top of the market for $ 14.99 a month.

HBO is in the name and the service has its entire current and past lineup. But the goal is to have something much wider, for just about everyone – comics, DC superheroes from the DC franchise (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman), "The Lord of the Rings" movies, and one of the biggest and most popular directories of television series that can be re-watched, especially "Friends" and "The Big Bang Theory."

Some 41% of respondents in the survey said they are likely to subscribe. But brand and service confusion can be a problem. The company will encourage people to switch from HBO Now, another service that offers only HBO programming at the same price, over to HBO Max.

The proliferation of streaming options risks confusing consumers who want to know which service has TV shows like "Friends." That series now belongs to AT & T's HBO Max service, which is scheduled to launch in May 2020. The couch that appeared in the opening of each & # 39; Friends & # 39; episode was shown to investors last month in Burbank, California.


Photo:

Getty Images for WarnerMedia

What about people who get HBO on TV? AT&T hopes to get them into HBO Max by cutting deals with cable and satellite TV providers. If HBO Max attracts all existing US HBO subscribers, it would have around 35 million subscribers – and from there would try to build on the base.

900 million reasons for

Apple's TV + service, which launched on November 1, is part of a broader impression of services – including subscriptions and credit cards – as it tries to offset declining sales of iPhones.

The powerhouse technology charges $ 4.99 per month for TV +. The biggest benefit is a base of over 900 million mobile phone users worldwide. Apple is building a TV ecosystem where it can subscribe to its own original TV + programs, as well as the ability to add streaming services run by others – such as Showtime, HBO and CBS All Access.

The dazzling challenge is that TV + only has nine shows at launch, and no library of previous hits, which puts a lot of pressure on the company to find a successful show in the early crop.

Other streaming services including Amazon have found it difficult to create a hit out of the port. "There's a lot of pressure on them because of the quality of Apple products," said Francis Lawrence, an executive producer of "Watch," an Apple show about a world where a virus has left humanity blind.

Share Your Thoughts

What would motivate you to pay for a new power service? Join the conversation below .

In addition to the giants, startup Quibi plans next spring to launch its own streaming service, which will be tailored to mobile phones and feature short-form content from Hollywood's talent.

Six out of 10 consumers think the new streaming options are a good development, according to the Journal-Harris Poll survey. Still, those who cut the cable TV cable to save money may very well find themselves paying the same amount by signing up for more streaming services, said TV producer Mike Royce, whose credits include "Everybody Loves Raymond." [19659011] "There will be cable again in five years, except there will be power services," Royce said.

Newcomers

Reese Witherspoon in "The Morning Show," which premiered November 1 on Apple TV +


Photo:

apple

APPLE TV +

Price: $ 4.99 per month

Launch: November 1

Identity : Want some new TV shows with that iPhone?

Portfolio Overview: Apple also offers a handful of shows at a low price (or free for a year to those buying a new device) as well as access to other programming platforms such as HBO and Showtime.

Total programming: Launched with nine programs and plans to release several more and some original films in the coming months.

Originals of note: "The Morning Show," with Jennifer Aniston and

Reese Witherspoon

; "For All Mankind"

Classic Movies: none

Television to watch: none

Largest asset: access to 900 million potential customers (Apple device owners)

Highest risk: Apple will not be able to lean on a library of previous TV and movie hits. No pressure, Jen and Reese! Apple's new show gets mixed reviews.

Mary Poppins and The Mandalorian are among the entertainment options at Disney +.


Photo:

Everett Collection; Disney

DISNEY +

Price: $ 6.99 / mo

Launch: November 12

Identity: Darth Vader meets Elsa

Portfolio overview: TV and movie programming from all Disney brands, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars, including originals and a deep library of animated classics

Total programming: 7500 TV episodes, 500 movies

Subscriber goals: 60 to 90 million by September 2024

Star Notes: Star Wars "The Mandalorian," "High School Musical, "" Lady and the Tramp "recording

TV to watch again: 30 seasons of" The Simpsons "

Movie Classics: " The Little Mermaid , "" Aladdin, "" Frozen, "" Mary Poppins "and more

Largest asset: built-in fan base e for popular franchisees [19659011] Highest risk: Original programming does not meet superfan expectations.

"The Office" will be available on Comcast's Peacock streaming service in April 2020.


Photo:

NBCUniversal / Getty Images

PEACOCK

Price: Free for Comcast cable and broadband customers; pricing of subscription not announced for non-cable customers.

Launch: April 2020

Identity: We are NOT the cable association.

Portfolio overview: originals from NBC's most famous creators, plus a large library of classics

Total programming: over 15,000 hours

Subscriber target: No one revealed yet.

Originals of note: "Battlestar Galactica" restarted; "Brave New World" with Demi Moore; comedy from Jimmy Fallon

TV to watch again: "The Office," "Parks and Recreation," "Cheers," "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

Movie Classics: "ET," "Jaws," "Back to the Future"

Largest Asset: Rich Library of Classic Programming

Highest Risk: Being late to the game; motivate customers to drop Comcast's traditional cable service.

HBO Max wants classic movies like "When Harry Met Sally" and current hits like "Succession."


Photo:

Everett Collection; HBO

HBO MAX

Price: $ 14.99 / mo

Launch: May 2020

Identity: It's not HBO. It's … HBO Max!

Portfolio overview: all HBO content; collection of programs and films over Warner Bros. and cable networks including TNT, TBS and Cartoon Network

Total programming: 10,000 hours

Subscriber targets: 75 to 90 million by the end of 2025

Originals by note: "College Girls," a comedy by creator Mindy Kaling; "Strange Adventures," a DC superhero anthology from producer Greg Berlanti

TV to watch again: "Friends", "The West Wing", "The Big Bang Theory"

Movie Classics: "Casablanca," "When Harry Met Sally"

Biggest Asset: HBO Brand

Biggest Risk: Consumers may think the price is too steep ; will shows like "Big Bang Theory" and "Friends" easily fit under the HBO label?

Incumbents

Netflix is ​​still the streaming juggernaut, with classic films like "Rocky" original shows like "Stranger Things." [19659105] Photo:

Everett Collection; Netflix

NETFLIX

Price: $ 12.99 for most popular level

Launch: streaming since 2007

Identity : Catch me if you can.

Portfolio overview: With a large library of TV shows and movies and a growing number of popular originals, Netflix does not want to replace a channel. It wants to replace them all.

Total programming: 1500 TV series, 4000 movies

Subscribers: 158 million worldwide

Originals of note: “Stranger Things, "" The Crown "," The Irishman "

TV to watch again: " Breaking Bad, "" Mad Men "and coming soon" Seinfeld "

Classic movies: "Rebel Without A Cause," "Rocky"

Biggest asset: A gigantic lead

Biggest risk: Competitors with lower costs eating in the subscription base ; programming costs are increasing.

"This Is Us" is one of the popular deals on Hulu that offers live TV and entertainment on demand in one place.


Photo:

NBC

HULU

Price: $ 5.99 with limited ads; $ 11.99 without ads; $ 44.99 for 60+ live channels as well as ad-supported Hulu

Launch: 2008

Subscribers: 28.5 million paid subscribers; majority owner Disney projects 40 million to 60 million tax subscribers by 2024.

Identity: Disney after dark

Portfolio overview: Primarily adult dramas and comedies that are too risky for family-friendly Disney + or that just doesn't fit well.

Total programming: more than 86,000 TV episodes and 2000 movies

Originals of note: "The Handmaid's Tale", "Castle Rock", "Shrill", "The Act" and "Little Fires"

Watching TV again: "This Is Us" "Lost," "ER," "Rick and Morty"

Movie Classics: "Hoosiers," "Mrs. Doubtfire, "" Fatal Attraction "

Largest asset: Only streaming service that offers live TV and on-demand everything in one place.

Highest risk: The strategy is mixed together under Disney's control. It recently lost bidding wars to hold executions of "Seinfeld" and "South Park."

Amazon Prime Video was launched in 2011 and now offers classic films such as "True Grit" and original programming such as "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." [19659105] Photo:

Everett Collection (2)

AMAZON PRIME VIDEO

Price: $ 8.99 / month, or included for those paying $ 119 / year for Amazon's Prime shipping service.

Launch: Streaming since 2011

Identity: Thank you for purchasing this book. Want to see the movie?

Portfolio overview: A growing slate of originals, plus a large library of older shows and films. The technology company's video offering is like the rest of the site: labyrinthine.

Total Programming: Amazon does not reveal this statistic. ONE

Barclays

The 2016 report estimated that Prime Video had over 18,000 movies and nearly 2,000 episodes of TV series.

Originals of note: "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," "Jack Ryan"

Classic Movies: "True Grit," "To Catch a Thief" [19659155] TV to watch again: "Family Ties," "Roseanne"

Largest asset: Amazon Prime has over 100 million members, a large potential audience.

Highest risk: Dabbing entertainment when competitors are facing each other.

CBS All Access currently has 36 movies and 12,000 TV episodes, including "Star Trek: Discovery."


Photo:

CBS

CBS ALL ACCESS

Price: $ 5.99 (limited advertising), $ 9.99 (commercial free); both include live stream of CBS networks

Launch: 2014

Identity: This is not your father's streaming service … really!

Portfolio overview: a large library of current and older TV series, a smattering of films and an increasing number of originals

Total programming: 12,000 TV episodes; currently 36 films

Originals of note: "The Good Fight," "Star Trek: Voyager," "The Twilight Zone"

Classic Movies: "An Officer and A Gentleman, "The Graduate," "Moonstruck"

TV to watch again: "The Brady Bunch," "Cheers," "Frasier," "I Love Lucy." [19659011] Major asset: experience, having been in the market for several years

Highest risk: Being able to keep up with major competitors while offering programming to Netflix and other streaming competitors.

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