New players, recently-announced alliances and original content are all driving innovation in streaming media. And the pace of change won’t slow down any time soon.
Redbox and Verizon have recently entered the game, releasing their streaming service to be aligned with Redbox’s current physical movie kiosks. They are offering a price lower than the competition, and the streaming service is sure to take away market share from current providers.
Apple has also been spreading rumors of a full-scale streaming service that goes way beyond its current Apple TV. The company knows there is room to grow in streaming media and plans on getting a piece of the pie with its own content library. I predict a service similar to iTunes, except with a new, innovative smart TV (Facetime and other Apple-specific apps included) that connects to a library of movies instead of music, creating another database of media for consumers to purchase. Apple has started this database on iTunes with a growing library of movies and TV shows.
Netflix recently secured a contact with Disney to distribute the studio’s first run films. Starting in 2016, Netflix subscribers will be able to watch Disney films shortly after their run in theaters. This contract used to belong to premium cable providers like Starz, Showtime and HBO. It’s a huge win for Netflix, breaking down yet another barrier in streaming.
Not only is Netflix winning contracts for first run films, it is also diversifying its business by producing its own content. While Hulu Plus and Netflix started producing their own content in 2012, the quality was lacking. “House of Cards,” a new political drama series produced by Netflix, stars Kevin Spacey. The series is directed by David Fincher (“Fight Club,” “The Social Network,” “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”), and all 13 episodes of the first season aired on February 1.
Hulu Plus and Amazon are also creating their own content, and it is only a matter of time until mainstream original series will be produced by streaming services.
Be sure to read the first two posts in this series: Streaming Media Part 1 – Why Streaming Content Will See Continued Growth and Streaming Media Part 2 – Consumers Want Content Everywhere and on Their Time.