The plight of never-ending streaming services

Rachel Brown, In-Depth Editor


The competition between various streaming service platforms has overwhelmed many viewers. With each service providing unique shows and movies, people are paying around $10 a month for individual platforms. These costs add up quickly.

The increased use of streaming sites was driven by the rise of Netflix, which has since tumbled as the streaming market has become oversaturated. None of the well-known streaming services stand out due to audiences tending to use their subscriptions to watch just a handful of shows. These services are constantly removing and adding shows and movies to their sites in order to maintain and attract viewers to increase revenue.

When Netflix exploded in popularity in the late 2010s, many people canceled their cable subscriptions because of the attraction of Netflix’s consolidated options across the media circuit for a low price of $8.99 a month. Although the idea of live TV and cable still had a strong appeal to many viewers, others felt that the “one-stop shop” service of Netflix rendered cable subscriptions unnecessary. People were now able to watch their favorite shows and movies on a single platform with minimal fee.

However, the concept of a single, streamlined platform is now a thing of the past, with services like Amazon Prime, Hulu, Peacock, HBO Max and Disney+ entering the fold. All of these platforms hit their golden ages once the pandemic hit, because families were spending more time at home.The National Institution of Health concluded that many adults that worked from home during the pandemic watched TV while on their breaks or when working. During this time of quarantine, internet and TV usage increased by 73.7%.

Coming out of the pandemic, these costs have added an extra burden as we are now less reliant on streaming services on a daily basis, but may still want to watch certain shows now and then. The high prices and little differentiation between streaming platforms is causing viewers to choose which platforms to keep, even though each service has similar content.

While streaming services initially made the process of finding quality content easier, the constant movement and elimination of TV shows and movies, as well as development of new material, now complicates things. Because individuals typically follow the content that is now spread over multiple platforms, it is easy to become oversubscribed and not even realize the cost impact. Individuals should regularly review their subscriptions to make sure they are getting their money’s worth.