Streaming services battle it out


Mahathi Kosaraju

In the beginning, there was analog TV.  Apparently there were three channels, and after midnight all three stopped broadcasting, leaving a fuzzy test pattern or a picture of the American flag.  Much later cable television came in like an advancing army with hundreds of channels of programming, including ESPN.  Satellite companies pushed their way in. It wasn’t enough.  Soon you could go to your neighborhood movie store and rent a VHS tape to watch at home.  Even that was too much work.  So Netflix began a service where you could order your movies online and they would mail them to your house, and although people were pretty happy, they were also a little upset at how much all this cost. 

So, when Netflix figured out they could just send content over through the internet and it cost only $7.99 a month, consumers felt freed.  Then came Hulu and Amazon Prime, followed by YoutubeTV, VUDU, and DisneyPlus.  When Disney pulled most of its content from Netflix, it started a chain of events that is now referenced as The Streaming Wars.  Apple jumped in with hours of original content. In fact, all different types of companies, from tech giants to legacies streaming to Facebook, are creating streaming services of their own.

Although it’s called a war there can be more than one winner.  According to Forbes, Americans are willing to pay more for streaming than for cable because it is easier and most of the time users can skip ads. On the negative side, as the number of streaming apps increases so does the necessary amount of storage and data users need on their phones, adding to the expenses. So basically with the added expenses of the new phone data and storage, there is a possibility that one-day streaming will be even more expensive than cable. Ironically, Youtube TV recently came out with a service that live streams 70+ channels for $50.00. At some point, we will have to make choices in entertainment which they have not been able to do so far. Wouldn’t it be funny if in a few years cable becomes the new trend again?