The Streaming Wars. Will it kill off the broadcasters?

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  • Video streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime now have more subscribers than traditional pay TV services in the UK, new data from Ofcom has revealed.

    Ofcom has also revealed that spending on TV by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 has dropped by nearly £1 billion over the last 20 years.

    Nearly 40% of UK households now subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime or Now TV. The 15.4 million subscriptions have now passed the 15.1 million who pay for Sky, BT, Virgin and other satellite/cable providers.

    I subscribe to Netflix, Amazon and pay a VM subscription too. I rarely watch the main channels, bar the news channels and quite often have BBC Parliament on in the background. I almost never watch the main terrestrial channels in the evening, in fact I'd rather watch paint dry. Clearly, I'm not alone according to Ofcom.


    Ok, the BBC still gets funded by us, at least for the time being..., but ITV and CH4 have to fund themselves and Ch 5 is now owned by the American giant Viacom. With Netflix now paying over $13bn on content each year, how can our traditional broadcasters compete with the streamers?


    In the BBC article (linked above) Ofcom suggests that the BBC, ITV and Ch4 work together and co fund programming. Ofcom also suggests that they also launch their own combined streaming service, something which Ofcom originally blocked when the broadcasters suggested doing this ten years ago. How things change... In North America, the BBC and ITV already run a streaming service called Britbox. Should they do something similar here?


    Currently, all the giant media/Hollywood companies are merging together, including Rupert Murdoch selling his business', due to the threat to his business' by the streamers.


    Will the likes of Netflix and Amazon eventually kill off our traditional broadcasters?

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  • The big problem with your argument is the fact that most of my similar age friends do not stream , a few have Amazon prime but find watching on a tablet as their Tv's aren't smart a chore , telling them a Chromecast device will allow you to use your TV just gets a vacant stare. Until Tv's are equipped to stream like a good tablet or laptop broadcasters can still show their nightly garbage.

  • The BBC article agrees with you Nigel, about the older population that is. This is the last few paragraphs from that article:


    Quote

    Online video continues to grow. Those aged between 16 and 34 now watch around an hour a day of material on YouTube on phones, tablets or computers.

    TV viewing by people over the age of 65 is unchanged at more than five-and-a-half hours a day - 343 minutes to be precise.

    That figure is one minute more than what it was seven years ago and is now almost four times the amount watched by children. The median average age of viewers for BBC One, BBC Two and ITV is now over 60.

    The question is, will today's younger folks continue their viewing habits and stick with the streamers and other online video services like Youtube, or will they, like the current older population, prefer to watch traditional tv when they get older?


    For me and I'm hardly a spring chicken (8o) I would never go back to a linear tv schedule for all of my tv viewing. I hate ads and my free time day-to-day is erratic, so streaming/on demand tv services are a god send for me.

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  • I still watch linear TV, I also watch catch up and use streaming services Amazon which I pay for and Netflix which my son pays for, I also hate adverts so wouldn't pay for SKY etc which also show adverts as well as being a subscription service, any services that show adverts should be free as far as I am concerned.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • The big problem with your argument is the fact that most of my similar age friends do not stream , a few have Amazon prime but find watching on a tablet as their Tv's aren't smart a chore , telling them a Chromecast device will allow you to use your TV just gets a vacant stare. Until TV's are equipped to stream like a good tablet or laptop broadcasters can still show their nightly garbage.

    Count me in to your counter argument. I just want to watch TV news, current affairs, culture and entertainment on a proper size tv screen and I don't want to faff around with cookies and converters and goodness knows what other hardware and software. Streaming is a drag. Besides which, I don't want to watch the end result on a computer screen and I haven't the means or patience to transfer the streamed material onto my so-called smart TV, which is bound to be too smart for it's own good and especially for my good. If the streaming is free or cheap, then it's riddled with advertising/commercials and I gather (in some cases) there is no way of fast-forwarding past the ads. When I want to see anything on a commercial channel I have to record it to watch it later - at least half an hour later - so as to fast forward past the tv commercials, The idea of delaying my bedtime because a one hour programme has been stretched to 90 minutes is simply unacceptable, not to mention the sheer tediousness of such lengthy interruptions to one's enjoyment.

  • I still watch linear TV, I also watch catch up and use streaming services Amazon which I pay for and Netflix which my son pays for, I also hate adverts so wouldn't pay for SKY etc which also show adverts as well as being a subscription service, any services that show adverts should be free as far as I am concerned.

    It's a double whammy, isn't it? They hit you with ads and then still expect you to pay a subscription. At least Netflix doesn't have ads, yet...

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  • Count me in to your counter argument. I just want to watch TV news, current affairs, culture and entertainment on a proper size tv screen and I don't want to faff around with cookies and converters and goodness knows what other hardware and software. Streaming is a drag. Besides which, I don't want to watch the end result on a computer screen and I haven't the means or patience to transfer the streamed material onto my so-called smart TV, which is bound to be too smart for it's own good and especially for my good. If the streaming is free or cheap, then it's riddled with advertising/commercials and I gather (in some cases) there is no way of fast-forwarding past the ads. When I want to see anything on a commercial channel I have to record it to watch it later - at least half an hour later - so as to fast forward past the tv commercials, The idea of delaying my bedtime because a one hour programme has been stretched to 90 minutes is simply unacceptable, not to mention the sheer tediousness of such lengthy interruptions to one's enjoyment.

    Streaming is easy, but for the older population, they may need some assistance with it, which maybe difficult if they don't have children or someone else on hand to help.


    If the old folks already use the internet, they should easily be able to handle chromecast, Amazon Fire stick or other such devices to access streaming stuff. Just requires a few minutes of setting up and showing them how to do it.

    I have every sympathy with older people's issues. Although I'm a long way from retirement myself, elderly people's issues are something I deal with on a day-to-day basis and a primary reason for setting this site up.


    I have a 2013 Samsung tv and its easy to stream. The apps load in seconds and you can watch loads of tv shows and films within a minute of the tv being switched on. No cookies or any other complicated rubbish to deal with.


    The only streaming services that have ads, are the likes of ITV, CH4, and Sky. Netflix and Amazon and BBC shows do not have ads.


    I fully agree with you about not wanting to waste time with adverts, my time is precious too and that is why services such as Netflix are so useful in this regard.


    As for watching things on tablets, never!

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  • The world’s largest entertainment company tried to buy back TV rights to “Star Wars’’ movies from AT&T Inc.’s Turner Broadcasting so that it can offer them on a new streaming video service, according to two people familiar with the matter.

    Disney made a preliminary inquiry about regaining the rights, but met resistance, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks were private. Turner has the rights to show the films on its cable networks, which include TNT and TBS, and online until 2024. The programmer would want financial considerations and programming to replace the lost films, one person said. The talks haven’t advanced further.

    Now that Disney will gulp up most of Murdoch's business', see the media mergers thread on this, Disney has decided now is the time to get serious about streaming.


    After only selling tv rights to its Star Wars films in America only a few years ago, it now wants those films back for its own service. Make no mistake, tv is changing and in the next few years all the major players in broadcasting and films will want to keep their own content on their own services, streaming services that is. In my opinion, that will be another death nail for traditional broadcast channels.


    The whole reason for all the Hollywood companies merging with each other is the threat from the streamers, so Hollywood has to become like Netflix to survive.

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  • Can you wise me up here? I'm so out of my depth!


    What happens to those in the film making industry who want to produce films on a modest-medium budget to a smaller select discerning mature audience, who want to watch such films either on a cinema screen or on their home TV screen rather than streamed into their computer or pad, who lack the technical means or know-how or broadband capacity or patience or inclination to capture that streaming within their TV set and, in any case, balk at the idea of paying a monthly subscription for a limited choice of films from any one streaming corporation?


    While these corporations fight for market share and dominance, aren't they are fragmenting and thereby slowing down consumer take-up?


    If I discover a gem of a new film (eg 99 Homes, The Lives of Others, Ides of March, Body of Lies, Miss Sloane, etc etc) it's absurd for me to restrict my freedom of choice to the streaming corporation that I was mug enough to pay a subscription. Instead I'll curb my impatience and wait for the DVD to be offered for sale on Amazon.


    Perhaps one day, streaming corporations will decide to fight for market share purely by the strength of the choice of films they offer rather than subscription hustle, where the film can be obtained by an ad-hoc payment, with the same ease as Sky-Plus. At which point I'd buy a smarter TV with a much bigger screen, combined with better audio, and never again have to visit a cinema and buy a ticket after standing in a lengthy queue behind people buying drinks, popcorn and hot dogs, and then have to be in the same auditorium listening to them slurping, munching and chatting.

  • Can you wise me up here? I'm so out of my depth!

    Oh, I doubt that very much.:)


    What happens to those in the film making industry who want to produce films on a modest-medium budget to a smaller select discerning mature audience, who want to watch such films either on a cinema screen or on their home TV screen rather than streamed into their computer or pad, who lack the technical means or know-how or broadband capacity or patience or inclination to capture that streaming within their TV set and, in any case, balk at the idea of paying a monthly subscription for a limited choice of films from any one streaming corporation?

    In terms of actually making the films, I'd imagine things will look pretty much the same as they do today. The independent film providers died off a long time ago, as they got gobbled up by Hollywood, but there are loads of modestly budgeted films out there, some of which still get to the cinema screens. Netflix makes loads of these type of films.

    Soon, internet access will be as ubiquitous the telephone became, but I agree that there are some who will never join the net, but almost all people under 55 have net access now. (see my post about this, I'm about to do in a minute)

    If I discover a gem of a new film (eg 99 Homes, The Lives of Others, Ides of March, Body of Lies, Miss Sloane, etc etc) it's absurd for me to restrict my freedom of choice to the streaming corporation that I was mug enough to pay a subscription. Instead I'll curb my impatience and wait for the DVD to be offered for sale on Amazon.


    For as long as there are DVDs, yes, you have that option. But I expect DVDs will be gone within the next 5-7 years, then streaming will totally dominate. I haven't bought a DVD in years, let alone rented one.


    I've seen 99 Homes recently and thought that was very good, so I might do a review for this site soon, thanks for the reminder on that.


    While these corporations fight for market share and dominance, aren't they are fragmenting and thereby slowing down consumer take-up?

    Companies will always fight each other for dominance, but I'm not sure how this would fragment and slow down consumer takeover, it seems to be the complete opposite.


    Perhaps one day, streaming corporations will decide to fight for market share purely by the strength of the choice of films they offer rather than subscription hustle, where the film can be obtained by an ad-hoc payment, with the same ease as Sky-Plus. At which point I'd buy a smarter TV with a much bigger screen, combined with better audio, and never again have to visit a cinema and buy a ticket after standing in a lengthy queue behind people buying drinks, popcorn and hot dogs, and then have to be in the same auditorium listening to them slurping, munching and chatting.

    Pay per view films are an expensive option, streaming is much cheaper, but I'm sure that option will still exist in the future.


    I quite enjoy the cinema on the occasional trips I actually get to go to one, but I don't like the same things as you too. With big tvs in the home and streaming choices, I don't need to worry about slurping and popcorn munching anymore.

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  • Or mobile phone Zombies.^^

    Yes, forgot about them. But so far I haven't been disturbed by them in a cinema or theatre. It's more a matter of despising them merely for existing! As for dining with people who plonk their mobile phone on the restaurant table, clearly it warrants bringing back capital punishment!

  • 1) You're too kind!


    2) I've yet to find a Netflix-produced film of much worth. And, as I said, I'm paying a subscription for a menu that has hardly anything I want to see and it's tedious to have to wade though their offerings


    3) I grant you that the net has become near-ubiquitous, including among elderly people who don't get around much anymore, where it's a social or family lifeline or next-best-thing antidote to loneliness.


    4) Compared with the cost of cinema tickets for two, a dvd is a bargain, and a mega bargain when hunting down a used dvd of a film that has been released for a fair while.


    5) Actually, a film review thread is a damn good idea


    6) On the whole you're probably right that fighting for dominance will stimulate consumer take-up. I was thinking more of how consumer take-up can get off to a slow start until one method became the dominant de facto standard. I was thinking of the slow take-up of the different audio or video players during the format wars, eg 8-Track vs. Cassette. VHS vs. Betamax. vinyl disk vs CD


    7) Pay per view films vs streaming? Don't understand. I'm just talking about pay per streamed film rather than a subscription fee to have a access to a menu where there is not enough that you want to view


    8) A big screen home TV and streaming are not inextricably tied, are they? I would just feed in a dvd, without being dependent on a streaming subscription for a menu that doesn't include enough of what I want to view. I'm just wondering whether streaming will offer me a higher definition of visual and and sound than a standard DVD. Otherwise why pay a premium for equipment that is over-specified for what one is able to put into it? Maybe there is the option of streaming in a high definition version but I suspect it will take ages and be quite exasperating if having to re-stream because of longer exposure to a possible break in the broadband transmission. (Also, as far as I can tell, HD movies on a HD DVD are a small proportion of all DVD movies and I can't find out what is the difference in visual or audio quality if one's equipment is good enough to demonstrate that difference.

  • From the media mergers thread:

    Do you think any of these media mergers or acquisitions, in the direction they might be heading, has any plusses or minuses to the viewing public and, if so, what

    On negatives, there is the danger of monopoly. Disney will control around half of Hollywood content once its bought Fox, reducing the number of Hollywood companies down to five and I expect that number to fall further. But the reason it is doing so is the threat it faces from the tech giants like Netflix, Google, Microsoft, Facebook (who now have some sports rights) and of course Apple, who are now the world's first trillion dollar company and have the rights to make a Lord of the Rings tv show.


    The fact of the matter is we're at an inflection point in television. Some say that point came when Netflix launched and others like me say that happened when Rupert Murdoch realised he couldn't compete anymore and put most of his companies up for sale, but as the article I was going to post last night and I will do in a minute shows, the way people consume television is changing and it's going the streamers way. Which will eventually, in my opinion, kill off the traditional broadcasters for good save for a limited selection of main channels,


    On plusses, I think the choice of television to watch now is incredible, thanks mainly to the likes of Neflix who are churning out dozens of new drama series' every year. The traditional broadcasters cannot compete with that.

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  • The use of commercial video streaming services has surged ahead in Great Britain, according to official figures.

    Close to half of all adults said they had watched Netflix, Now TV, Amazon Prime Video or a similar internet-based service over the past three months.

    That compares to less than a third of respondents in 2016, the last time the figure was given.

    Also from the article:


    90% of homes have internet access.

    100% of homes with children living in them have internet access. These are the Netflix/Apple customers of the future.

    46% of people have watched a commercial streaming service like Netflix over the last three months.


    This is further evidence, I suggest, that the traditional tv model is dying out and will die out completely within twenty years.


    Hulu, the streaming service that Disney will get majority control of once it takes over Fox, also has live tv channels on their service. So, on demand and live programming is coming together on the same platform and it will be services like this that will kill of the traditional tv channels as we know them, or at least most of them, in my opinion.

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  • 2) I've yet to find a Netflix-produced film of much worth. And, as I said, I'm paying a subscription for a menu that has hardly anything I want to see and it's tedious to have to wade though their offerings

    I didn't realise you actually had Netflix. From your comments on this site over the last few months, I inferred that you hadn't, so my error there.


    I find the more you use it, the better it gets at suggesting what it thinks you will want to watch and present these to you as the first menu options. This system can only can better, as it moves to true intelligent/smart tv.

    4) Compared with the cost of cinema tickets for two, a dvd is a bargain, and a mega bargain when hunting down a used dvd of a film that has been released for a fair while.

    And I've no doubt, you'll still be able to find cheaper DVDs somewhere for years to come, so I agree it is a very cheap option compared to the ridiculous prices of cinema tickets. But as I said, I do think DVDs will die out.


    I tried to get rid of some DVDs I had a few months ago and offered them to my local charity shops. They weren't interested. They said they don't sell as everyone watches Sky or Netflix and doesn't use DVDs now. My DVD player is currently dusting up in my loft, but I can't bear to part with it just yet.

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  • I still use my DVD/HDD recorder but really only as a player these days. I have stacks of DVD's but am slowly replacing them with 1080P downloads on USB drive(s) where available.


    Some of the DVD's I authored myself from download material that was in rmvb (Real Player) format and our TV at the time wasn't smart.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • 5) Actually, a film review thread is a damn good idea

    We have a whole forum of them, Eat your heart out!:):


    Films


    6) On the whole you're probably right that fighting for dominance will stimulate consumer take-up. I was thinking more of how consumer take-up can get off to a slow start until one method became the dominant de facto standard. I was thinking of the slow take-up of the different audio or video players during the format wars, eg 8-Track vs. Cassette. VHS vs. Betamax. vinyl disk vs CD


    The examples you cite were to do with conflicts over technology. This time around, all the tech is standardised. And consumer take-up of streaming has been fast, as the linked article I posted above, shows.


    7) Pay per view films vs streaming? Don't understand. I'm just talking about pay per streamed film rather than a subscription fee to have a access to a menu where there is not enough that you want to view

    Ok, sure. Netflix don't offer that option, but other services like Amazon Prime do. Tesco has a PPV service called Blinkbox, but that's gone bust now and I can't remember if TalkTalk's PPV service is still around, but there are several choices out there, but they're all expensive, especially compared to used DVDs!


    8) A big screen home TV and streaming are not inextricably tied, are they? I would just feed in a dvd, without being dependent on a streaming subscription for a menu that doesn't include enough of what I want to view. I'm just wondering whether streaming will offer me a higher definition of visual and and sound than a standard DVD. Otherwise why pay a premium for equipment that is over-specified for what one is able to put into it? Maybe there is the option of streaming in a high definition version but I suspect it will take ages and be quite exasperating if having to re-stream because of longer exposure to a possible break in the broadband transmission. (Also, as far as I can tell, HD movies on a HD DVD are a small proportion of all DVD movies and I can't find out what is the difference in visual or audio quality if one's equipment is good enough to demonstrate that difference.

    You can watch DVDs on a old black and white tv if you choose to do so, but to watch streaming services either requires a modern tv with in built streaming apps, or HDMI ports so that you can connect devices to them which would give you access to the streaming apps.


    Netflix and all the streaming services offer HD as standard and all of Netflix's new shows are also available in 4k for a extra price, of course. They all have 5.1 sound.


    If your tv is older and under 40", you won't see any tangible benefit from watching HD content. I can't comment about HD DVDs aka Blu Rays, as I don't have any, but the quality of them is meant to be superb, but again only for a tv larger than 40".

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  • 1) My fault entirely: I meant to put across that I would find myself in that position if I was a subscriber and that is why I decided not to subscribe.


    2) I find with Amazon and books that their suggestions are spot on in terms of subject/topics but laughably uncorrelated with quality. Thus, Amazon could link a purchase of a book by Raymond Chandler with a suggested book by Micky Spillaine, or would link Scott Turrow with John Grisham.


    3) By the time DVD's die out I'll be so f- ing old I'll have lost my memory, so I can re-run my dvd library.


    4) Local village halls in rural areas have film shows several times a year. Assuming the DVD's are not Texas Chain Saw Massacre or Straw Dogs or The Life of Brian, you could make a sale

  • ^^Last week the first episode was made available on Direct Tv's service and now this "mess up."


    Is this a sign of things to come, aka the death of the traditional tv schedule?

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  • We've just cut the cable and only use Netflix and Prime now, although I'm currently playing around with IPTV.

    Of course, being in Argentina my options are a tad limited, hence the need to check out other options like IPTV.

  • All the big American Hollywood Companies are getting involved in streaming Splinter and no doubt they will come your way sometime in the next year. They're the future and cord cutting is destroying the traditional pay tv package.


    Services to expect at some point:


    Disney + (which contains Fox content too, following Disney's takeover of Fox).

    A Warner service combining HBO content.

    A Comcast/Universal/NBC service which maybe called Sky, since Comcast took over Sky.

    CBS/Viacom/Paramount - they have lots of streaming services at the moment, including one called Pluto TV. Expect this to be just one service in the end, once the companies have remerged again - about to happen.

    Apple

    A Discovery streaming service including stuff from Eurosport (which they own) and BBC natural history shows

    And Sony's Crackle may already be available to you.


    I think that's the main ones.


    Oh, you might get Britbox in the future, which is currently available in the States. Contains all the BBC and ITV shows.

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  • Lionsgate Shares Drop on Rumors Comcast Will Drop Starz

    Shares of Lions Gate Entertainment were dropping 7 percent in midday trading Friday as rumors circulated that Comcast will not renew a pact that makes Starz available to its cable-TV subscribers.

    Another volley has been fired in the streaming wars to come and there is a good chance a lot more like this Comcast move might happen.


    Streaming is turning the traditional way that tv "is done" upside down and in the States at least there is emerging a conflict between the big networks who also own vast amounts of their own content like AT&T and Comcast and smaller broadcasters. If Comcast goes ahead with this move, Starz, a premium film channel partially owned by John Malone, ultimate owner of Virgin Media, will lose a third of its revenue and will put the long term viability of the channel at risk.


    As I've said on the media mergers thread, the remerged ViacomCBS to be, is looking to either take over other smaller media companies and/or be bought out by a larger player and this Comcast move could accelerate that process.


    As a swathe of new streaming services from Disney, AT&T, NBC/Universal and others are about to launch, how can all these services exist and all existing tv channels too? Me thinks they can't.

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  • From the VM tech changes thread:


    It was useful for a while when it repeated the old episodes of Bones. Although Sky showed most of them on endless repeat, they always missed a couple of series. Other than that, I don't think I've watched it.


    So, will the Fox channel be next for the axe? If Disney is putting its own content onto its own streaming service, I suppose that would release their bought in content, such as NCIS, NCIS New Orleans & L.A.'s Finest ,to other broadcasters and their own content, such as American Horror Story, would go to the streaming service. I can't say I'd subscribe just for AHS...

    The question you pose is the whole reason why this thread exists.


    Apart from the kids channels, Disney barely seems to exist on the EPGs of Sky and VM. So, in theory it could be easy for Disney to retain their content for their own streaming service as they lack channels to put stuff on, but its never that simple.


    But you mention Fox specifically and bought in shows like NCIS which is a CBS show. I wouldn't be surprised if the channel gets axed as the Fox brand is too associated with Murdoch and perhaps each broadcaster then keeps its own shows on its own streamer/channels, but that unwinds many decades of how the American companies have done business with each other. It would be a massive loss to Sky if in the future, Disney kept shows like The Simpsons for its own services, considering that Sky has shown the show from day one of their existence.


    As Disney has/will pull all its content from Netflix, we'll await and see how they treat other broadcasters when various broadcast rights expire.

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  • From the VM tech changes thread:


    The question you pose is the whole reason why this thread exists.


    Sure but I was just "thinking aloud" as I was waiting for more info. :)


    Quote from Horizon

    Apart from the kids channels, Disney barely seems to exist on the EPGs of Sky and VM. So, in theory it could be easy for Disney to retain their content for their own streaming service as they lack channels to put stuff on, but its never that simple.


    But you mention Fox specifically and bought in shows like NCIS which is a CBS show. I wouldn't be surprised if the channel gets axed as the Fox brand is too associated with Murdoch and perhaps each broadcaster then keeps its own shows on its own streamer/channels, but that unwinds many decades of how the American companies have done business with each other. It would be a massive loss to Sky if in the future, Disney kept shows like The Simpsons for its own services, considering that Sky has shown the show from day one of their existence.


    As Disney has/will pull all its content from Netflix, we'll await and see how they treat other broadcasters when various broadcast rights expire.


    I don't know that the association with Murdoch will be a major issue as the same would apply to the entire "Fox" group of companies.


    Interesting times ahead...

  • I'm afraid I am pushed for time to watch TV programmes on the mainline terrestrial channels, and dvds

    All these streamers do not interest me, even after offers from those who know how to make them work without forking out for the subscription

    A Hand Up Not A Hand Out

  • Fair enough. Like you, I have little free time to watch tv at the moment, but unlike you, this is why I find the streamers so useful. There is no way I would watch a linear tv channel again with adverts, so the streamers are handy here.

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  • That's fine if you remember to set the recorder or it decides to record things for you, but a pain if you forget.

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