On the podcast Daily Tech News Show today I heard them recommend this site for helping decide between all the services out there. You can also sign up for notifications when prices or lineups change:
A meta thread for video streaming services - Netflix, Hulu, Disney, HBO, Warner, Prime, AppleTV, etc
But why would you want that? (Serious question. The thing I like best about watching video content in the modern age is not having to do it on a schedule.)
Personally I have enough content that I can watch whenever I want, that it’s nice to have something I can just turn on without thinking about it. I also find it’s a bit easier for fresh cord cutters to recommend something that works similarly to what they’re already used to.
Plus, when they stop showing IT Crowd I know I’ve stayed up too late :)
Meanwhile the almost-no-commercials plan is staying the same price and the Live TV plan is going up by $5. Of course they’re not being quite as vocal about the price hike on that plan.
I had Hulu for a bit last year- my Spotify account let me add it on for like $3/month (with no option to pay more for the add-free version, but whatever, it didn’t really bother me). I kept it for two months. It wasn’t worth it.
So I subscribed to Shudder via Amazon streaming- 7 day free trial, and $4.99/month after. I’ll probably keep it for a month. I subbed for A Discovery of Witches, which has been showing up on my Google News feed lately for some reason (probably because Google knows I like urban fantasy/horror/supernatural stuff). It’s fun, and pretty, and a new take on all the witch/vampire/demon mythos. I might look up the books it’s based on.
So, Shudder. It has a nice, limited selection- horror and thrillers. A pretty good balance between old classics and new stuff, I indie and more mainstream. Mandy is on there (watched it last night).
Funniest thing about it though, are the categories. Each (Popular, New, Sci-fi, Killers, etc) has like 10-12 movies in it. Except Dark Comedy, which has 100+. Apparently, Let The Right One In is a comedy. As is the documentary about the making of Hellraiser, Leviathan. And the old George C Scott ghost story The Changeling. The first Resident Evil movie. Etc, etc. It’s kind of hilarious.
But like I said, there should be enough to keep me interested for a month or so, and the price is right. No idea how often they shuffle they lineup, though.
The books are fairly decent.
I wouldn’t subscribe to Shudder on its own, but it’s one of the channels VRV offers and probably the one I’ve gotten the most use out of so far because it has a number of things that have otherwise been difficult to track down like Sadako vs Kayako (the Ring ghost versus the Grudge ghost). Which was very silly, but hey.
They add at least a few new things every month or so, and I haven’t noticed things rotating out super quickly, so it’s been nice. I can recommend Terrified, a creepy little Argentinean flick.
Someone leaked the content costs for one of those services. Adding up all the channels came to like $55. So they’re all losing money on the content alone, not even talking about their infrastructure, bandwidth, and support.
ESPN alone was like seven bucks per month.
Sounds like an easy fix, just drop ESPN. Oh wait… that’s right. They like to force that on everyone.
My guess is $7 is ESPN’s bundled price, if you also take on ESPN2 and ESPN3 and so on, which were all a dollar or two. If you want just ESPN and the various spawn of ESPN by themselves I betcha they charge fifteen or twenty buckaroos easy.
Well what I am getting at is the prices are still high on these streaming services, and a lot of it seems to do with specific and expensive channels they’re required to carry.
I don’t watch sports and have no intention to start. But lots of people do, and ESPN doesn’t want to be unbundled, so they make it prohibitively expensive to do so. So they could make a cheaper service for people like me without sports, but they wouldn’t be able to offer ESPN as an option for other people, which makes it commercially dubious if you’re a giant like Google or AT&T.
That is, in fact, Philo’s business model. No sports, no locals, just “cable” channels.
Well since they’re shedding subscribers, perhaps if they do that long enough, they will change the way they do business, or I guess just maintain business as usually and watch the decline continue.
Since every one of these services (except perhaps Philo!) loses money with every subscriber, all they care about right now is market share, and they’re hemorrhaging subs. They’ve got to make a change, whether that’s dropping prices or adding more DVR time or whatever.
The best part about all of the services I’m on now is that I honestly have no die-hard loyalty. I can certainly shift to whatever becomes hot.
Amazon - simply because I’m a Prime member
Netflix - gets the most watches for seasonal shows and new content
HBO Now - mostly for Game of Thrones, when it’s done so am I, maybe?
Hulu - mostly for A Handmaid’s Tale and a couple of seasonal shows
But I have one catch-all, DirectTV Now, which sounds like it’s hemorrhaging money. That’s the one my partner in crime girlfriend needs for her daily show fixes.
Part of the problem with all these new services starting is generally the same issue with some of the ones I have already. A new service with one thing we watch. Those are not going to be worth it for extended subscriptions.
My only loyalty is to my wallet. I will likely set a limit on what I want to spend and live with it. It helps that most nights I don’t watch anything. Computer gaming shifted my screen time to the PC and away from TV and it really hasn’t shifted back.
This is why Netflix will survive. Most networks or studios are going to learn the market for their stuff is slimmer than they think.
Yeah, it’s one of those things where people and companies get confused thinking Netflix is popular because of their content, when often it’s really that their content got popular because it was on Netflix. I think Spartacus is a huge example of this. That show was so much bigger than it would have been just on Starz because it was inexplicably showing up on Netflix streaming.