Competition among streaming services puts damper on enjoyment for consumers

While+Netflix+used+to+be+the+only+widely+used+streaming+service%2C+many+new+ones+have+been+introduced+within+the+past+few+years%2C+and+competition+between+them+has+continued+to+grow.

Photo by Chelsea Strober ’21

While Netflix used to be the only widely used streaming service, many new ones have been introduced within the past few years, and competition between them has continued to grow.

Chelsea Strober ’21, Associate Managing Editor

Remember when life was easy and Netflix was the only streaming platform we used to watch our favorite shows? When no one really knew what Hulu was, nobody cared about what was streaming on Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ and HBO Max were not in existence yet? 

Paying for one subscription was enough back then, and navigating where to watch what was not a daily issue for TV and movie fans. Now, it seems as if every day a show or movie leaves Netflix for a different streaming service, and we are given no choice but to purchase yet another subscription. 

Over the course of the last two years, the competition among streaming services has grown immensely, and we, as consumers, are suffering the consequences. With new streaming services being introduced seemingly every six months and taking many shows from different platforms with them, viewers are forced to pay for new subscriptions in order to watch their favorite shows and movies.  

With new streaming services being introduced seemingly every six months and taking many shows from different platforms with them, viewers are forced to pay for new subscriptions in order to watch their favorite shows and movies. ”

— Chelsea Strober ’21

For example, on Jan. 1, fan favorites “Gossip Girl” and “The Office” were taken off of Netflix to be streamed on HBO Max and NBC’s new streaming service, Peacock, respectively. Now, those who watched both of these shows on Netflix and don’t want to lose access to them are forced to pay additional subscriptions to two more streaming services. While on Peacock, you can view the first two seasons of “The Office” for free; however, in order to have access to all nine seasons, you must pay their subscription fee. 

This happened to me last year when my family’s all time favorite show, “Friends,” was tragically taken off of Netflix. Unless we wanted to stay up until midnight to watch it on live TV, buying a subscription to HBO Max was the only answer for our very small but upsetting problem. 

While I understand that losing access to TV shows and movies that I want to watch is not a serious problem, especially in today’s climate, I believe it is causing problems for viewers.  We are living in the midst of a pandemic that is already putting a strain on the mental health and financial health of everyone, and watching television should be the perfect opportunity to de-stress. 

However, having to figure out on which streaming service you can watch specific shows and movies and constantly having to pay for an additional streaming service takes away from the good that television has to provide. 

In a time where we are all struggling to find small moments of peace and tranquility in our lives, it is upsetting to know that big business streaming services are dividing our entertainment options into small segments that cost consumers more. I miss the days when Netflix was our go to, all in subscription streaming service. Sometimes keeping it simple seems to be the best option all around.