Streaming services are taking over. With Disney releasing their streaming service, “Disney +” on November 19 of this year, it is safe to say that the way that we watch movies and TV is changing drastically in this new age defined by streaming services.
There are multiple arguments to be made when examining the impact of streaming services. One would be that they make movies and TV more accessible to those who do not want to pay for TV and cable. The most basic Netflix plan costs $8.99 a month, which is significantly less than the average price paid for cable. However, there is no way for people using the service to get live TV. Hulu solved this by creating a plan that includes both Hulu and live TV. The most basic monthly plan for Hulu + Live TV is $39.99 a month. This is their direct response to cable. But, Hulu and Netflix aren’t the only streaming services available. Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now, Showtime, Starz, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue are just a few streaming services available right now. The prices end up becoming stacked, almost equaling the price of plain-old cable. As a response to all the streaming services, cable companies are coming up with lower prices to combat the price of them.
“I think they are sort of bad,” Rohith Kuchipudi, senior, said. “They’re good in terms of how accessible and streamlined the process for watching TV is, but that’s also like the negative thing because we all waste hours and hours at a time on it when we could be doing more productive things.”
Companies that are releasing streaming services assume everyone has access to the internet to use them, which is not the case. There are people who cannot afford to pay for both internet and all of the streaming services. However, there are options available for low-income houses to have internet. By doing a quick Google search you can find multiple options, but there’s no guarantee those internet providers will provide internet where you live. So can it really be said that streaming services make film and TV more accessible to people? A majority of Americans have access to the internet, but it can be dangerous to assume everyone can afford all of the streaming services and platforms that continue to be released.
“I use them a lot,” Mac Campbell, senior, said. “I think there are too many. It was great when there were a couple but now with more coming out and like certain shows only being on one certain platform it’s kinda like having to pay for channels. The idea is great but having to pay for like 5 separate ones sucks.” Campbell also has been using Disney +. He says that he’s enjoying it but wishes it was more public.
“One of my main problems with Disney + is the fact that they took content off of a lot of other streaming services that they – the company – already own, and put it onto Disney + to make more money,” Campbell said.
“Something can also be said about representation,” continued Campbell. He spoke in reference to the new Ms. Marvel TV show that is to be released on Disney +. Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) is a Muslim-Pakistani teenager from New Jersey. “The only way to see some of these shows is to pay to see them on Disney + which isn’t an option for a lot of people.”
Streaming platforms are also changing the way that TV shows and movies are created. All of the services create their own content, creating TV shows and movies that audiences want to see. Netflix and Marvel Studios had an agreement where Netflix created shows based around characters from the Defenders comic book series. This led a lot of Marvel fans to get the streaming service. However, in the past year, Netflix has canceled all of these TV shows, presumably because of Disney’s new streaming service where all Marvel content would be available for streaming.
Disney + has a multitude of original content that is going to continue to be released throughout the upcoming year. The platform released a new Star Wars show, The Mandalorian, the day that the platform dropped. Many fans of the Star Wars franchise bought the streaming service for that show and that show alone. It has also been announced that Marvel will be creating a lot of original content for the streaming platform with characters from the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). This line-up includes a series around the character Loki, as well as a series about fan favorites: the Falcon and the Winter Soldier. There will also be a series called “What-If?” which will include characters from the MCU in different scenarios that have not been explored in the movies before.
Do you believe that streaming services are the future? The increasing amount of platforms being released makes it seem as if they are. Is this a positive or negative addition to film and TV? That’s up to you to decide.