Online streaming is becoming anything but streamlined

by | Dec 4, 2020 | A&E

As NBC prepares a wider rollout of its own exclusive streaming service, students’ options for watching their favourite shows have become bottle-necked.

Where a single subscription of $12 to $15 once covered most entertainment needs, it now costs viewers anywhere from $30 to $50 or more just to keep up with new content.

Danyal Somani, a first-year Humber film and television production student, said student budgets don’t always allow for such options.

“It is a little difficult, with Netflix I definitely feel like I get my money’s worth as they have a lot of cult classics, as well as new content that they release all the time,” Somani said.

“Currently, I am subscribed to Netflix and Disney+, but I honestly might just cancel Disney+ as I mostly use Netflix, at least until Disney+ releases more Marvel content,” he said.

Peacock, the streaming service from NBCUniversal, will compete with Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime TV. This means shows will now become even more exclusive due to their respective rights.

After seven years The Office will be leaving Netflix to return to NBC and stream exclusively on Peacock. Similarly, Amazon Prime TV will lose Parks and Recreation since it too was an NBC production.

Netflix faced a similar issue in late 2019 when it was announced that the sitcom Friends would be leaving the platform in order to take permanent residence on HBO Max, the Warner Bros. and AT&T-run streaming service. After backlash from the fans and viewers, Netflix agreed to pay between $80 million and $100 million to retain the show for a little longer.

A study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2019 showed 59 per cent of those surveyed had an interest in Disney+’s original content, with 49 per cent interested in its exclusive content which includes Marvel, Star Wars, PIXAR and more.

Of the people surveyed by PWC, 64 per cent expected to pay more for their streaming services with each year that passes. On Oct. 31, 2020, CNBC reported that Netflix was planning to raise its subscription prices yet again for customers.

Even as Netflix continues to lead the way for the plethora of streaming services, subscribers, such as Humber early childhood education student Aneesia Small, are starting to see the downside and resort to other options.

“I do think that further price increases make people turn to illegal sites because, over time, the price is costly and people don’t feel like what they are paying for is worth the price, especially with content being removed each month,” Small said.

Humber student Khaleel Benoit from the child and youth care diploma program agrees, saying, “people would rather subscribe to something free.”