TV and Movie streaming is heading in the wrong direction - gHacks Tech News

ADVERTISEMENT

TV and Movie streaming is heading in the wrong direction

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Now, YouTube TV, and many others; soon, Disney's entry into the market with its own service while other companies consider entering the TV and movie streaming niche as well.

I canceled my Netflix subscription today as the company's offerings, at least here in Germany, are not cutting it anymore. While I like many of Netflix's own productions, I found it to be severely lacking when it comes to movies or TV shows that I would like to watch. Netflix's catalog is small; according to Finder, less than 2000 TV shows and movies are available in Germany.

The same can be said about Prime Video, my second subscription. I did not cancel it because it is included in Prime, which I use, but I don't really watch a lot of productions on Prime Video either because of those limitations.

netflix membership end

The Prime Video interface and layout is even worse than that of Netflix; I use a Fire TV stick for that, and it is such a pain to browse only free movies and shows using it as Amazon did not implement a filter to hide all paid offerings.

Disney will launch its own streaming service in 2019; means, Star Wars, Marvel, and other Disney productions may be offered exclusively there.  If you like these franchises, you may find them only on Disney's service and not elsewhere anymore.

The TV and movie streaming niche is fragmented already, and it appears that companies do their best to fragment it even further. Audio streaming on the other hand has less fragmentation even though there are multiple companies that offer streaming services.

For video, you'd either have to subscribe to multiple services to access a good range of productions, or hop from one service to the next regularly to avoid multiple subscriptions. Both options are not very enticing. The first costs a lot of money and means that you have to switch between the different services and applications they provide to search for content and stream video. The latter, that you have to cancel subscriptions and subscribe regularly.

In short: it is too expensive and not particularly user-friendly. Search works only on individual services which means that you have to rely on third-party search services to find out where you may watch a particular show or movie.

What will you do?

How will users react to the fragmentation? Some will surely subscribe to multiple TV and movie streaming services to access a good amount of content; others might move to streaming and download options that are not "official".

I made the decision that I won't play the game anymore. I canceled my Netflix subscription and won't subscribe to a service again until a Spotify of video streaming appears on the market.

What I do instead? I buy shows or movies on DVD or Blu-Ray that I'm interested in. Advantage of that method is that I can watch them whenever and wherever I want.  I don't buy many, however, and usually years after release on flea markets and other second hand marketplaces.

Now You: Do you have streaming video subscriptions?

Summary
TV and Movie streaming is heading in the wrong direction
Article Name
TV and Movie streaming is heading in the wrong direction
Description
TV and video streaming fragmentation moves the whole streaming niche into the wrong direction; it hurts customers and companies.
Author
Publisher
Ghacks Technology News
Logo
Advertisement

Previous Post: «
Next Post: »

Comments

  1. Anonymous said on December 10, 2018 at 8:19 am
    Reply

    Torrents!

  2. ilev said on December 10, 2018 at 8:38 am
    Reply

    What I do instead? Never had a streaming service subscription. I watch every TV or movie I want downloading with uTorrent.

    Your hopes for Spotify of video streaming will never happen due to copyrights agreements, just like there won’t be a Spotify for DVD removing DVD zones.

  3. Taomyn said on December 10, 2018 at 8:57 am
    Reply

    Yeah the film and TV industry continues to hold tight to their old failing financial models, even with using new tech, and still haven’t learnt the lessons from the music industry.

    I’ll continue to boycott the cinema’s and their extortionate pricing, all made worse by the impossible to justify cost of film making. I only have Amazon for the same reasons of using Prime, but will never pay for anyone else’s fragmented ecosystem.

    One day their bubble will burst.

  4. Yuliya said on December 10, 2018 at 9:01 am
    Reply

    I refuse to reward with my money a service which does not give away the file for playback on whatever player I want. Plus their HD playback policy is ridiculous, locking you on one specific browser, running on one specific OS, and the whole PC using a specific family of CPUs, so your machine becomes compliant with their DRM b/s. Screw that.
    I’ll keep my PirateBay and RuTracker subscriptions, tyvm <3 Everything from there plays just fine in 1080p on the player of my choice, VLC.

  5. Anonymous said on December 10, 2018 at 9:09 am
    Reply

    I’m already switching subscriptions, but half of the year I’m without any and just sticking with books for that time.

  6. Ripped Off Aussie said on December 10, 2018 at 9:40 am
    Reply

    Here in Australia, we consumers are consistently gouged over the price of digital media. A digital album that might cost $8 in the USA can cost $30 or more here simply because I live in a different region. If I want to watch game of Thrones, I’m expected to pay exorbitant fees for cable TV access. (Foxtel has exclusive rights over here and last I heard it was at $110 a month to include whatever channel it’s aired on). I don’t want any of that other shit like a shopping channel. Give me what I want and let me pick what I want for a reasonable price.

    At the moment, I rent a seedbox for $7 a month and can find anything I want on the usual torrent sites. With Medusa, I can sit back and wait for the shows to arrive automagically. The fractured nature of the current system, combined with the innate greed of our current providers, means that my $7 a month will be money well spent.

  7. AngryMan said on December 10, 2018 at 10:29 am
    Reply

    #MeToo Martin… MeToo

    I wish if there were a “Central Movie Store” where everything is available regardless of your location. The creators could still sign different contracts with them. The race would be about who can deliver it efficiently to the customers and the views.

    Geo-Block should be illegal. It is a kind of discriminating people in my eyes.

    We need a law about this better than GDPR: A huge red banner on their sites before opening an account that warns people about Geo-Block.

  8. AngryMan said on December 10, 2018 at 10:49 am
    Reply

    Instead of the GDPR i have a better idea for the EP to force these companies to display this.

    “””Warning!!!

    You are trying to access our service outside from the US (if you did not already know that). This means that you are unable to access some or more (in your case the latter) content on our site.

    But do not worry! The good news is that you will be paying the exact same amount of money like the others here in the US (You stink but your money does not). Congratulations!”””

  9. Weilan said on December 10, 2018 at 11:00 am
    Reply

    For as long as torrenting works, everything is fine. xD

  10. Anonymous said on December 10, 2018 at 11:03 am
    Reply

    The fragmentation will just lead to more piracy. Nobody wants to subscribe to 20 different services to get maybe 80% of what they want, when they can get 100% of what they want through torrents, kodi boxes and the like.

  11. Luca said on December 10, 2018 at 11:19 am
    Reply

    Torrenting is not the solution. It is like going on the bus without paying the ticket. One word: theif, although it is only one dollar.

    1. yossarian said on December 10, 2018 at 11:57 am
      Reply

      > It is like going on the bus without paying the ticket. <
      No it's like paying a ticket no every bus stop because you see different streets.
      One word: theif, although it is only one dollar.

    2. Anonymous said on December 10, 2018 at 12:55 pm
      Reply

      One word…and you managed to screw it up

      1. ULBoom said on December 10, 2018 at 5:01 pm
        Reply

        LOL! Speed posting kills.

  12. vasu said on December 10, 2018 at 11:43 am
    Reply

    Subscribint to all services is not possible for me and thus torrent is my best frnd for now. Saw Mowgli this weekend! :-) :_)

  13. John G. said on December 10, 2018 at 11:55 am
    Reply

    Nothing is shorter than the money in the hands of a silly man. By the way, if I need to see a movie I go to the cinema, it’s better than any subscription or any TV/streaming show. Furthermore there are available dozens of museums, theaters and libraries, all of them full to the brim of pure art of any kind, that are more and more empty while increasing number of people is killing their eyes looking at mobile devices and smart TVs. Companies are not heading in the wrong direction, we do.

    1. John Fenderson said on December 10, 2018 at 5:46 pm
      Reply

      @John G.: ” if I need to see a movie I go to the cinema, it’s better than any subscription or any TV/streaming show. ”

      If I want to see a movie, the cinema is the last option I consider*, because they are expensive and provide an environment that makes it very difficult to actually enjoy the movie.

      * There are exceptions. My town has a few small businesses that have installed home entertainment systems and show movies for public viewing. Those are awesome and are my first choice for watching a movie, period. They only offer movies that are out on BluRay, so no first runs, but they make up for it in the awesomeness of the experience: small theaters with actual couches and armchairs, and they serve real food (including beer and wine). You can even text your order during the movie and they’ll bring it in to you. And (excluding food), it’s less expensive than the mainstream theaters. Less expensive + superior experience = win!

      1. John G. said on December 10, 2018 at 6:51 pm
        Reply

        Cinema is the most magic ‘common’ experience of human beings since 1894. I simply love it. :)

      2. Ed said on January 7, 2019 at 4:37 am
        Reply

        John Fenderson wrote: “My town has a few small businesses that have installed home entertainment systems and show movies for public viewing. Those are awesome and are my first choice for watching a movie, period.”

        These venues sound great, John, and thank you for posting the details about your experience with them. I’m interested in learning more about them to possibly replicate the experience in my town. What are the names of the businesses and in what town? Thank you very much in advance!

  14. Anonymous said on December 10, 2018 at 11:58 am
    Reply

    I found that illegal file sharing is more convenient and doesn’t cost anything. Even better, it hurts their extortion systems and deprives them of the lobbying money they use to make the world a DRM and surveillance prison.

  15. asd said on December 10, 2018 at 12:08 pm
    Reply

    Then they wonder why people pirate.

  16. someone said on December 10, 2018 at 12:11 pm
    Reply

    Netflix offers less TV shows & movies in Italy than Turkmenista?! WTF!!! no wonder people pirate.

  17. DVD said on December 10, 2018 at 1:36 pm
    Reply

    I buy the stuff I want on DVD’s, preowned, usually from Ebay. Works very good, is cheap and convenient. I have never signed up for any of the streaming services, just tried for free Amazon’s Prime video and did not care for it (same reasons like Martin). But, what works for me may not function for everyone.

  18. pHROZEN gHOST said on December 10, 2018 at 3:02 pm
    Reply

    I am so glad I am not in the I want that crowd.
    I pity the people who bought huge brand new 4D screens. Keep buying the blu ray discs … suckers.

    1. RonnyB said on December 10, 2018 at 3:53 pm
      Reply

      So everybody who does not share your way of doing things …. is a sucker ?
      Sorry, but something must have gone wrong in your upbringing.

      1. Rush said on December 10, 2018 at 5:16 pm
        Reply

        @RonnieB

        Your comment is a bit harsh…. clearly…

        I believe what gHOST was referring to… his reality that he has discovered a lower cost to higher end entertainment, which suits him. There are others out there whom subject themselves to higher cost of high end entertainment, and gHOST feels good about the fact that he is not them.

        So, I get it.

      2. Welk77 said on December 10, 2018 at 9:04 pm
        Reply

        Yeah, sure. That’s why phrozenghost chose his words so carefully. I get it, too.

    2. pHROZEN gHOST said on December 10, 2018 at 9:58 pm
      Reply

      RonnyB is one of those poor in-DUH-viduals who look to be offended at every opportunity.

      1. Rinus said on December 11, 2018 at 12:58 pm
        Reply

        @pHROZEN gHOST

        I get the impression RonnyB is only stating the very obvious.

  19. michlind said on December 10, 2018 at 3:09 pm
    Reply

    Netflix offerings in the U.S. is lacking too. Prime Video is just plain awful. Don’t even look there anymore.

    Yes… Torrents !!!

  20. wybo said on December 10, 2018 at 3:20 pm
    Reply

    Don’t get me wrong I would love to pay for streaming but even if I would subscribe to them all I would not get the global content I have now with torrents.

  21. Gerard said on December 10, 2018 at 4:12 pm
    Reply

    I am not at all interested in the various (on-line) pay-tv offerings, YouTube, etc. There is more than I need on regular cable tv. Better go for a walk, have a few beers in a pleasant pub or read a good book.

  22. Greg said on December 10, 2018 at 4:46 pm
    Reply

    Martin, the solution to some of your problems is Apple TV. Apple TV offers a search function that searches across all apps you have installed. Also, on my Apple TV, I only see content I can watch in the Prime Video app. Further, Apple TV offers the BEST UI of all streaming boxes. There are no popups on the screen during viewings and in general the content is respected by the UI.

    I canceled Netflix because of their terrible UI which shrinks credits, auto-plays advertisements and trailers, and pops things up on the screen during viewings asking if you want to skip parts of the viewing. Netflix UI is among the worst in the business. I hear HULU is awful too so I have never even tried it simply due to the UI.

    Even if the content is good, having a terrible UI can ruin the viewing experience making me not even want to watch the content. Streaming services should keep their UI out of the content, which many are not doing.

    1. iponymous said on December 10, 2018 at 8:30 pm
      Reply

      Roku also does this(search across all apps)

  23. Dilly Dilly said on December 10, 2018 at 5:06 pm
    Reply

    Its all about patience. You don’t have to watch the latest greatest. Wait for the best movies and shows to rise to the top then watch. If you get something like GOT then stream hbo for couple months and cancel. If there are movies/shows that you would watch over and over, buy a physical copy. Do the same with your music. I buy used copies and rip them to my server and resell. Create your own media server, its fairly easy these days. You can even stream your server over the internet.

  24. Apparition said on December 10, 2018 at 5:22 pm
    Reply

    People wanted a la carte television. They got it. Anyone who thought it would be cheaper than a cable subscription was naïve at best.

    I currently subscribe to Amazon Prime Video, CBS All Access, CuriosityStream, Philo, WWE Network, and YouTube Premium. It comes to about $67 per month with tax, but it’s still cheaper than cable television and I get content that I actually want to watch.

    1. John Fenderson said on December 10, 2018 at 6:27 pm
      Reply

      @Apparition: “People wanted a la carte television. They got it.”

      Technically, I suppose, but not really. The new model appears to be pretty similar to the old model — you aren’t getting real a la cart, you’re still subscribing to entire packages at a time.

      1. Apparition said on December 10, 2018 at 7:30 pm
        Reply

        Not really. You only watch Star Trek? Subscribe to CBS All Access. You only watch wrestling? Subscribe to CBS All Access. Only watch science and technology documentaries? Subscribe to CuriosityStream. That wasn’t possible with cable television.

        The problem is that most people feel entitled to watch *everything* for $10 or $15 per month. Can’t happen. Won’t happen.

      2. John Fenderson said on December 10, 2018 at 7:51 pm
        Reply

        @Apparition: “You only watch Star Trek? Subscribe to CBS All Access.”

        Yes, and you’re subscribing to an entire package, just like with the cable model, in order to watch a single show. That’s not really a la carte.

      3. An said on December 11, 2018 at 6:46 am
        Reply

        @John Fenderson, The a la carte you want exists, it’s called buying the season of the show you want with no subscriptions involved. There are stores to buy any tv show you want with no subscriptions. Apparition is right on this, if you want for 10$ to watch all tv shows you want at the exact time you want… that’s never going to happen legally, you will have to pirate.

      4. John Fenderson said on December 11, 2018 at 5:50 pm
        Reply

        @An: “The a la carte you want exists, it’s called buying the season of the show you want with no subscriptions involved.”

        That’s not the same thing at all.

        “if you want for 10$ to watch all tv shows you want at the exact time you want”

        Nothing I said implied that I wanted this.

        Truthfully, this isn’t an issue I get that worked up about. If I can watch interesting shows on demand at a reasonable price from a reasonable company, I will. If I can’t, then I just won’t watch the show/movie at all. Simple.

  25. ULBoom said on December 10, 2018 at 5:25 pm
    Reply

    We subscribe to one sort of streamer, USEF, to watch jumpy horses but it’s free with our membership. If you’ve very specific interests, streaming subscriptions are a great way to access content unavailable anywhere else, otherwise it depends on what an individual wants to view.

    We get 200 cable TV channels and together, my wife and I watch maybe 20 of them regularly. Kids, closer to zero, they’d rather play with their phones. Internet comes with cable, otherwise OTA TV in our area is OK enough to where we could drop cable without much pain.

    I’ve noticed the same comments about limited channels mentioned here. A bigger issue, IMO, is until our Internet is capable of always delivering a continuous flow of fast data, I’m not paying for buffering, pauses and HD content that periodically drops to Low D. Fast lines don’t guarantee quality media delivery.

    1. John Fenderson said on December 10, 2018 at 10:01 pm
      Reply

      @ULBoom: ” Internet comes with cable, otherwise OTA TV in our area is OK enough to where we could drop cable without much pain.”

      You can’t get internet without cable TV in your area? Where I live, my internet feed comes through cable, but I don’t get cable TV. Just internet, all by itself.

  26. John Fenderson said on December 10, 2018 at 5:35 pm
    Reply

    “Do you have streaming video subscriptions?”

    I used to subscribe to Netflix, but cancelled it because of their support for the EME in HTML5. Technically, I have Prime Video but, like Martin, it’s just because it comes with Prime. I haven’t ever actually watched a video through that service.

    Outside of that, I don’t have any streaming subscriptions, and honestly, I don’t plan on getting any. The more fragmentation I see in streaming services, the less likely it is that I’ll bother with any of them moving forward.

  27. Janice said on December 10, 2018 at 6:45 pm
    Reply

    I canceled my Netflix sub when they went after vpn users. No way I pay the US price for 1/6 of the content.

  28. Richard Steven Hack said on December 10, 2018 at 7:28 pm
    Reply

    Except for blockbuster movies that are best viewed on the large screen in a theater, I get all my TV shows and movies from downloads. I don’t even need to use torrents most of the time as there are still plenty of Web sites hosting links to TV shows and movies uploaded by other Netizens. That even includes movies I haven’t seen in twenty, thirty, 40 or even 50 years, such as old Hammer Dracula and Fu Manchu movies and the Wild Wild West and The Outer Limits. I can get tonight’s TV shows here on the West Coast within three hours of their airing in the eastern US. I can get British shows (and if I spoke the languages shows from other countries) not aired here at all.

    Best of all, I get to keep the ones I want to keep and rewatch them whenever I wish.

    Right now, I have 52 TV shows and 21 movies I need to get caught up on. I guess I’ll watch them over the next couple months while shows are on hiatus. LOL

    1. Anonymous said on December 11, 2018 at 1:32 am
      Reply

      do you mind sharing the name of these sites ?

  29. Glenn said on December 10, 2018 at 8:51 pm
    Reply

    Never used any streaming subscription, don’t want some corporation knowing what I watch. The latest TV show isn’t worth sacrificing my privacy. If its not on anonymous free to air TV, I don’t see it.

    Looking at the homes and lifestyles of Movie/TV actors, they don’t need any more of my money.

    Go for a walk or a swim, learn a musical instrument, learn a new language, call a friend and talk, read a recommended book, buy a homeless person a sandwich, coffee.

    1. Anonymous said on December 10, 2018 at 10:37 pm
      Reply

      “Looking at the homes and lifestyles of Movie/TV actors, they don’t need any more of my money.”

      And they’re paid nothing compared to producers…

  30. Kate said on December 10, 2018 at 10:12 pm
    Reply

    I have Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. I decided recently that’s my limit. I’m not subscribing to any more services, and I am considering dropping Netflix, because they keep dropping outside shows in favor of their own content, which only a small percentage really interests me. Anything that’s not on those three services I either pirate or do without. The studios and media companies think they’re going to recreate the cable debacle by fracturing into hundreds of different services and having people pay for twenty or more services a month. They’re dreaming. Most people cannot afford that, and they’ll just do without or piracy will once more become popular.

  31. Wayfarer said on December 10, 2018 at 11:54 pm
    Reply

    Here in the UK, I have a choice of Sky (expensive crap), subscription services (hugely expensive crap) and Freeview TV (free but largely unwatchable crap.) I’m statutorily committed to paying a BBC Licence fee (aka extortion by what is now little more than a government propaganda service) simply for the ‘privilege’ of owning a TV.
    Frankly, if my good lady wife didn’t enjoy TV so much (and I’ll never begrudge her that) my TV would be in a waste skip inside 24 hours.
    As for movies – I can’t recall the last movie (which I usually still buy on DVDs) that I watched for more than 15 minutes before I switched the infantile Holywood rubbish off.
    Thank god for the internet. For my money – in the UK at least – it’s been a very long time since any TV was worth the bother of switching on.

    1. John Fenderson said on December 12, 2018 at 6:01 pm
      Reply

      @Wayfarer: ” I can’t recall the last movie (which I usually still buy on DVDs) that I watched for more than 15 minutes before I switched the infantile Holywood rubbish off.”

      In all fairness, there are excellent movies being produced, even now. While I agree with you that the vast majority of them are crap (as has always been true), there are gold nuggets as well. They just don’t tend to be advertised or shown in every theater across the land. You have to look for them.

  32. Mac said on December 11, 2018 at 12:05 am
    Reply

    Google Sonarr, install it, Qbittorrent, Nzbget, find an indexer for nzb files (easily found and many are free). Tell Sonarr what television you want then it finds it, downloads it, and sets it up for streaming. Then install a streaming software like Plex or Kodi, tell it where your files are and then stream them to cell phone, pc, smart tv, roku, shield, tablets and even some smart radios.
    If Movies are your thing then Radarr by the makers of Sonarr does the same thing.

  33. adsads said on December 11, 2018 at 12:26 am
    Reply

    Torrents.

    Hey movie industry, I’ll subscribe when:
    – You give me the file
    – I can watch it on whatever player on whatever device I want
    – Whenever I want
    – However many times I want
    – For under 20€/month

  34. D said on December 11, 2018 at 12:56 am
    Reply

    DVDs are cheap. Want HD quality? Then Wait for Bluray releases.

  35. John said on December 11, 2018 at 2:02 am
    Reply

    Netflix has no recent blockbuster movies. It doesn’t have all tv shows and definitely not all movies. So how exactly Netflix is enough? If it had all movies and tv shows it would have the triple price. I prefer more services from the companies themselves with all their tv shows and movie content and switch between them every month. It is cheaper this way than 1 service with everything and a huge price for it.

  36. anonymous said on December 11, 2018 at 2:42 am
    Reply

    I just stick to the legally free stuff. Tubitv has a ton of content and it’s all legally free. https://tubitv.com/

    1. ilev said on December 11, 2018 at 8:34 am
      Reply

      Tubi is zone restricted. Doesn’t works in every country.

  37. Moe said on December 11, 2018 at 4:36 am
    Reply

    What if every product at Walmart decided to leave and open their own retail stores? People want convenience, not more hassle and extra costs.

  38. Darren said on December 11, 2018 at 7:59 pm
    Reply

    Is easier now to just get it all from the guy with the long coat on the street corner. So to speak.

  39. coakl said on December 12, 2018 at 2:12 am
    Reply

    Several months after canceling Netflix, you should get a “come back’ e-mail with a free month offer. You could accept, binge-watch whatever looks interesting, then cancel again.

    If you don’t accept the offer, Netflix will keep sending it every couple of months.
    I haven’t felt the need to accept yet.

    My watch-later queue on Youtube is much longer and far more interesting.

  40. Tom said on December 12, 2018 at 4:49 am
    Reply

    Something that I think a lot of people don’t understand is that whether the content is delivered by conventional cable TV or by online streaming, the money is going to the same a-holes.

    A-holes who pushed to have “broadcast flag” malware embedded in all television recording equipment, like this. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadcast_flag

    Basically what the DVR device would have to do is analyze the signal for a flag set by the station, that if set, would deny you the freedom to record the show.

  41. Trebuchette said on December 12, 2018 at 10:16 pm
    Reply

    I’m not PAYING to watch the crap they’re putting out now. Nooooooooooooo! Blu ray sharing is very nice. Torrents are, too. If something’s trash, delete it and move on.

  42. BM said on December 14, 2018 at 3:31 pm
    Reply

    OTA Antenna service is a great alternative – no subscription, unless you want a DVR with a programming guide.

  43. John IL said on January 18, 2019 at 1:21 pm
    Reply

    Netflix just recently announced rate increases. Its basically doubled since I started with Netflix now, and I actually find less and less to watch. Bird Box apparently was a decent viewer hit, but has this been a rarity more then a typical reaction? Its rare for Netflix to brag about viewer numbers for a show at least not in numbers. Will the rate increases amount to more original duds and less good third party content? If so, I suspect a lot of Netflix subs will leave for cheaper alternatives.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.