Pocketables

Choppy seas, more streaming services, lack of network rebroadcasting, more piracy?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one – network channels have been removed from DirecTV, Comcast is Comcast, there are more streaming services than you can shake a rooted Amazon Fire Stick at coming out each at $7-16 a month, and each service contains some must-see series.

TL;DR – Paul rambles about streaming services, piracy, and thoughts on how to incentivise against it.

It might have you thinking people are going to be rushing to BeastTV, ShowRSS, 1337x, or back to the ol’ Pirate Bay in order to get their content. And you’d probably be right.

I cut the cord a while ago. Used PLEX + and HDHomeRun DVR for local channels. I’ve got Amazon Prime (work,) Netflix (wife,) and Hulu (phone plan.) The only thing I missed was easy access to Comedy Central.

For me this leaves CBS All Access and Disney Plus (when it comes out) as two other services that contain or will contain content I want. But, I only want two things from CBS, three things from Disney Plus, and honestly I don’t need to see things the day they drop.

My kids are still unclear on the concept of Live TV vs prerecording and why people would want one over the other.

That may make me a bit different than the average streamer, but I sort of feel like the glut of good media out there you’re either overwhelmed or you’re getting it on your own terms. There’s no more shared network experience, and maybe that’s a good thing as people have more that works for their tastes.

Personally, I’d rather get content on my own time and terms and save.

So, there are all these services… there are five I want shows from, and I’m willing to wait a month or two because I don’t have to sit around and discuss these or avoid spoilers all the time. There have been times when Netflix got fired up twice during a month. Until The Boys on Amazon I’m sort of a sniper there.

So, piracy is the easiest answer, but there’s a couple of pretty legal methods that keep your price the same if you don’t have to see that show right now OMG!

The first and easiest is to sign up for a service for a month and discontinue it. You can binge all the shows you want, cancel subscription, move on. There’s no use maintaining a streaming service subscription when you’re not actively watching anything and if you can’t be around your friends without them spoiling something for you they owe you a Disney Plus subscription. Switch services at the end of the month, move on.

Leapfrogging off of that you’ve also got apps/programs like PlayOn, we’ve covered this before. If you’ve got access to a computer and a little time you can use that to record what you want. PlayOn’s probably the easiest for grabbing shows you want to watch later, which is great for when you have a 7-day trial of a service…. record ALL THE SHOWS!

I think with the streaming glut we’re entering into and with more services on the horizon the big 5 are probably going to have to start selling their shows per view in addition to per subscription, or face that people are going to relearn the way to grab shows without paying.

Once streaming services see the market share slipping, maybe let us pay a buck a show or so for a day-of show. That’s probably not the answer they want to claw for at the moment though as it might get people thinking “do I really want to pay a buck for that,” when there’s a bad episode or two.

Or maybe I’m not the target demographic.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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One thought on “Choppy seas, more streaming services, lack of network rebroadcasting, more piracy?

  • Avatar of Daniel D.

    Paul, what you are describing here is a situation valid up to a point also in Europe. After a breath of normality (thanks Netflix!) we are heading again to a mud pit (thanks greed!). Parallels can be easily made between the movie/series industry and the music industry.
    We all know that the US is (depending on the viewing angle) the cradle of video production. Up until a decade ago the money were made through traditional ways: own network (cable), national sindication, international sindication. Money were made, but infrastructure was expensive and single use (except for maybe cable internet).
    Streaming brought a new transmission medium. It used to be the Devil (just like the VCR and the compact cassette) but, now that it was proven profitable, everyone jumps ships. And with data centers becoming cheaper what’s a few servers? The infrastructure is there already and payed for by others anyway.
    Oh, how many cable subscriptions could be in US? 100,000,000? (assuming 3-4 people per household) Now every service can have access to billions of potential buyers!
    … As long as they are willing to pay, that is… and this is where piracy becomes a problem/solution (again depending on the point of view). Because not even a mid-earning family is willing to pay 50-100 € per month for all their media needs. Jeah, for music they could get away with 15 € per month and it can be consumed everywhere. But how much can they spend in front the TV? An average of 1-2 h/day/person?
    VPN costs 5-10 €/month and you can have everything. True, it involves a bit more work, but many are willing to do the work, giving the price differences.

    Reply

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