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TV and movie streaming services are pretty awesome. Personally, I’ve been enjoying streaming the last couple weeks of the Women’s World Cup via FuboTV. Since I cut the cord a while back, I wouldn’t be able to watch these games without the ability to stream them, especially not the less popular early stages of the competitions. Once the World Cup is over, though, my “subscription” will be too.
As nice as streaming can be, it’s not particularly insightful to observe that it’s also a bit of a mess—one that’s only getting worse. Everyone in the game wants the proverbial theirs. This notion has led to a lot of nifty original programming in the form of exclusive shows and movies. Unfortunately for the TV and movie industry, exclusivity isn’t all unicorns and rainbows—just as it isn’t for the “customer-friendly” world of video gaming. But I digress…
Our household maintains both Netflix and Hulu subscriptions. We also have Amazon Prime Video, but I count that as a freebie considering Prime’s primary perk of free one- or two-day shipping. I’ve liked some of the exclusive offerings from these players (like I Am Mother and Our Planet), other offerings are still on my to-watch list (like Hanna and the 3rd season of The Man In the High Castle), and future or ongoing shows from all of them keep me and my wife paying up for now (like The Expanse and Veronica Mars).
Over the years I’ve used trials of other services through Amazon to catch specific shows. Most recently, I demoed HBO Go for Chernobyl and Veep as well as CBS All Access to catch up on Survivor (CBS doesn’t come in well over our antennae). However, I have yet to be convinced to give them any money.
Frankly, most of the time I’m more than content to just watch content from YouTubers. If no one else in my house watched anything, I’d probably switch to 100% a la carte purchases of a select few series and stick with Prime Video and over the air for everything else. That said, we do cherry-pick the very best shows for individual season purchases already and occasionally pick up our favorite movies as well. Of course, you usually can’t buy someone else’s exclusives on the platform of your choice. Lame.
That’s my perspective, but I’m curious what strategies the gerbil masses are employing given all the options. Even my precious Windows Media Center of days gone by would leave me missing out on everything that’s locked behind subscriptions. By the way, I’m including Disney Plus in the list because, even though the 800-pound gorilla hasn’t entered the ring of screaming monkeys yet, I think it’s already on a lot of people’s radar.