Both Netflix and Disney+ are planning to introduce less expensive subscription plans later this year that are ad-supported. I suspect many other streaming services will follow suit. I hasten to add that these new plans will not replace existing plans – they are as well as, not instead of.
Are There Too Many Streaming Services?
There are so many media streaming services now that users are spoiled for choice, seems every media outlet is keen to jump on board with this obviously lucrative business model. However, the proliferation of streaming services also creates a major issue whereby the fragmentation of broadcast rights can see several different streaming services owning the rights to different seasons of the same TV show. This obviously presents a major problem for the viewer.
I recently experienced this exact scenario with Prime Video. I picked out a TV show that sounded good with four full seasons listed. We (my wife and I) watched all of the first season and thoroughly enjoyed it but when moving on to Season 2 received the message… “this video is unavailable”. Of course, as is often the case, Season 1 ended with a cliffhanger episode leaving the viewer wanting more but, alas, no more were available for us. Needless to say, I was not a happy viewer.
This type of fragmentation has also adversely affected streaming sports. Being of British descent, I am a huge football (soccer) fan. Was a time not so long ago when all the soccer from around the world could be viewed in Australia via a single subscription, either through Foxtel or Kayo Sports. Now, the broadcasting rights for soccer have become so fragmented that one needs to subscribe to no less than four separate streaming services in order to watch that same content.
Streaming Services & Piracy
It’s a known fact that, with the advent of more and more media streaming services, piracy decreased dramatically. Now, with more and more streaming services operating and the subsequent fragmentation of broadcasting rights, reports are that piracy is again on the increase. I can’t say as I blame the viewers who are keen to watch all seasons of a favorite show only to discover that not all are available via their chosen streaming service.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the conduct of the money-hungry media organizations contributes more toward piracy than any other factor.
Streaming Services & Ads
As far as I am concerned, one of the major benefits of subscription-based media streaming services is that they are ad-free. Would I accept ads in exchange for saving a few dollars per month? Absolutely no way! Apart from the convenience of being able to watch what I want when I want, the lack of ads is a major attraction for me and one of the main reasons I opted to go for streaming media in the first place.
Of course, I am but one voice and there are possibly many who might be willing to accept ads in exchange for saving a few dollars each month. By the way, neither Netflix nor Disney+ have as yet announced exact pricing for their proposed ad-supported plans so I am only guessing at “a few dollars”.
Your turn – Would you subscribe to a cheaper media streaming plan with ads?