Almost everyone is already subscribed to at least one streaming service, whether it’s Netflix, HBO Max, Sling TV, or Disney Plus. However, a lot of people, including individuals and families, have been trying to determine the best streaming service. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as many would think, especially since people have different preferences when it comes to video content. For example, some people prefer some Latino TV channels on their streaming plan, while others prefer films and dramas from Korea. Now, the battle of streaming services has gone intense, not only in the United States but globally.
Let’s begin with the unfortunate truth between cable TV and streaming services. According to a report by the Motion Picture Association of America, streaming services already overtook cable subscriptions between 2017 and 2018. With many people starting to cut the cord, it stimulated the streaming war that might redefine the industry. HBO Max, Netflix, and Disney+ already have taken different approaches to obtain a competitive advantage to be the top streaming service worldwide.
Growth of the Streaming Industry
Over the past few years, the streaming industry has grown tremendously, especially with production companies establishing their own streaming services to join the battle. In 2021, more than 50 streaming services are now available compared to the three streaming services available in 2007. With the increased competition, viewers have been benefitting from low monthly fees, a wide variety of content, and many more. But, there are still streaming services that continue to stand out from the rest.
Differences in Pricing
Pricing is a massive factor many subscribers consider before anything else. For example, Hulu has lowered its price for its ad-supported subscription, which garnered them many subscribers, especially those who don’t mind paying less for a few advertisements in between their streaming. This poses the question, what’s the most expensive streaming service?
Even with the continuous price hike of Netflix, HBO Max still remains the most expensive streaming service. Its base ad-supported plan is priced at $9.99, while its ad-free service is $14.99. On the other hand, Netflix’s introductory plan also costs $9.99, which was originally $8.99. However, even with the same price, Netflix’s base plan remains superior as it comes without ads. However, the company has recently announced that it will start offering an ad-supported plan at the end of 2022.
The Growing Streaming Service Subscriber Population
Netflix started the year 2020 with a bang and ended with around 204 million subscribers across the world. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and Netflix’s original programming, Netflix was able to deliver an impressive number of shows that have helped many people cope with lockdowns and physical distancing protocols.
The incredible subscription growth in 2020 can be linked to several factors, such as the increased number of international subscribers. Netflix’s competition was also lower during 2020 than what it faced during 2021. Unfortunately, a significant number have been canceling their Netflix subscriptions to subscribe to a different service.
Newer streaming services, like Disney+, Peacock, Sling TV, and HBO Max, did not disappoint most of the viewers. Among these new services, Disney+ is leading as it hits 100 million subscribers just two years after its launch. HBO Max, on the other hand, has experienced a complicated issue as not all of its 41 million subscribers haven’t activated their HBO Max subscription.
Different Approaches in Streaming
Netflix has a well-established policy of skipping theatrical releases unless it is attempting to qualify for award shows such as the Oscars. Netflix original movies can only be watched on Netflix. Streaming services like Disney+ and HBO Max, on the other hand, must consider the other divisions of their parent companies, and film distribution in theaters has been a part of it for over a century.
Both Disney+ and HBO Max have leveraged the lockdowns and limits imposed by the COVID-19 outbreak to try to recruit members and establish themselves as a major competitor to Netflix. They’ve leveraged the pandemic to direct many of their films that would have gone to theaters initially to their new streaming platforms instead. The subscription services have taken varied approaches to the “Netflix model” experimenting.
Password Sharing & Streaming Services
Netflix is planning to crack down on password sharing this year. It will entail receiving verification numbers via email or text messages, which you must enter within a set duration. This isn’t a brand-new technology—it is sort of a security feature commonly used to validate devices in online banking and other accounts with a high-security risk. This form of regulation is nothing new in the world of streaming. Users who want to view Amazon Prime Video must first log in to their Amazon Prime account, which necessitates a new sign-in verification process that involves delivering a time-sensitive code to the primary account holder’s phone and email. While this isn’t a new concept, it’s still unknown how strict Netflix will be with password sharing and whether additional checks would be used.
Unlike Netflix, Disney+ starts with seven profiles and lets users download material to up to ten devices for offline watching. Additionally, Disney+ allows for simultaneous streaming from up to four devices. In comparison, Netflix only allows that many people under their most expensive package. On a single Netflix account, you can have up to five profiles.
On one HBO Max account, you can have up to five profiles. Surprisingly, on HBO Max’s predecessor HBO Now, they never allowed more than one. HBO Max has a three-device limit when it comes to simultaneous streaming.
No doubt, streaming services have redefined home entertainment. But the continuous growth of streaming services worldwide has been making it hard for many people to choose the best streaming service. For now, it’s safe to say that Netflix is still the leading streaming service company. However, with its continuous price increase and the pending ad-supported plan that will be launched later this year, Netflix has been receiving negative feedback from its subscribers. We’ll see how it turns out early next year.Spread the love