The streaming of content and media over the internet has changed how we consume content. Suddenly, every film or series anybody could possibly want is merely a few clicks away. It’s been an industry that has seen unparalleled growth within the last 15 years and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.
Some see streaming as a norm in life now, but other feel that streaming has lost what made it so special to begin with.
Where It Started
Back in 2007, Netflix took on their first customers for their revolutionary new streaming service. Before Netflix, cable and live viewing services were all that there really was to offer. Netflix offered the ability to watch almost anything you wanted, at any time you wanted to watch it.
Netflix caused a shift in how we consume content, soon video rental companies were all but shut down and cable companies had to switch to on demand content in order to compete. For a lot of companies, the shift was too little too late, as the new titan of industry showed little signs of slowing down. Netflix was not alone in running away with the market, soon Amazons Prime Video joined.
With several companies fighting it out to be on top of the streaming content, it became apparent that content was not coming quickly enough to stay ahead of the trend.
At this point, numerous streaming services were available to the public, causing a bidding war for the best of content between streaming providers. This led to a change in how content was produced, pushing streaming services to fund and create original content themselves.
Netflix was the first to pursue original content in 2012, but it did not take competitors long to follow suit. Today, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max and even YouTube Premium offer a wide range of original content for a wide range of viewers.
The Charm Of Streaming
When streaming first hit popularity, there were a multitude of reasons that it surpassed any existing services like live TV or cable.
- Cost – in the late 2000’s, cable was expensive. Most forms of uncompromising viewing were expensive. Netflix came along like a breath of fresh air to most viewers, offering a rivalling experience for a fraction of the cost.
- On Demand – Just like playing at ZAR Casino the ability to watch whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted, without leaving your home was revolutionary. At the time, there was just no competition for on demand content.
- Convenience – Done were the days of having to drive to the video rental store for a particular film. Now, the biggest challenge facing most was deciding what they wanted to watch.
Until 2017, streaming services were still minimal and broadly offering similar content, piracy of content was at a low as viewers could afford the small fees for a streaming service. As major streaming services started to offer fantastic original content, the choice of which streaming service to use started to become more difficult.
The same problem that plagued Live TV started to come towards streaming, namely the cost. Since 2018, piracy has been back on the rise as many people want to enjoy the content, but just cannot afford multiple streaming services at the same time. While customers became accustomed to on demand content and the convenience, the cost aspect no longer stands as an advantage.
Big players in the streaming services are still on the rise, pushing more towards original content than ever before.
As for the consumers, the future is bright in the face of all the content they could want, but uncertain from an economically viable standpoint. Not everybody feels this way, as a lot of users are happy to be paying for separate streaming services. In lower income countries, piracy is still on the rise as people still want to enjoy all the content available.