Quality or Quantity In Streaming Wars
Disney+ and Apple TV+ have joined Netflix and Amazon Prime in the streaming war that has seen millions of people subscribe to stream and cast video content around the world, however, the issue isn’t subscriber numbers, its the content library to back it up that really matters, bringing us to the fundamental question of quality versus quantity.
Following its debut, a reported ten million people signed up to Disney+, a number which took HBO Now four years to achieve.
While the subscription numbers are impressive, it does not encapsulate the real battle that streaming services are having to compete in – maintaining subscribers.
Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger has been touting the “rich in brands” approach, using the 30 seasons of The Simpsons as a reference.
The big test will be growing the service beyond Disney’s back catalogue with originals to ‘keep customers interested after the nostalgic novelty wears off’.
Something that appears to be already having a detrimental effect on Apple, Bloomberg describes its service as feeling empty, pushing critics to wonder if the US$5 (AU$7.99) a month price tag is worth it.
In Australia there are 14 million who have access to a video-on-demand service according to a Roy Morgan report into streaming services, identifying Netflix as the clear market leader with 11.2 million users.
At the time of the report, Amazon Prime Video more than doubled its user base over the last year by 116.7% to over 570,000.
A trend that could continue for Apple TV+ and Disney+ following their launch, though it is yet to be seen whether they will continue to surge ahead.
Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan identifies that ‘the battleground’ for streaming services ‘will be content and cost’.
‘To charge for a service there needs to be unique valued content’.
She even goes onto to say, ‘it will be more important than ever for existing and new streaming services to correctly identify which genres will appeal to the widest possible audiences,’ in a report regarding Pay TV/Subscription TV services.
Apple appears to be looking for alternatives to keep its subscriber base, shifting towards bundle subscriptions, which would combine Apple Music, News+ and TV+.
However, as covered by ChannelNews, publishers are wary of the possibility of change, citing compensation concerns as some publishers claim to currently receive less than US$20,000 a month for Apple News+.
Unfortunately for Australian users, who have only just gotten their hands on the Disney+ service, will have to fork out AU$8.99 a month for a total cost of AU$89.99 a year.
What’s worse is that the streaming glitches plaguing the Disney+ launched have not been completely ironed out, with DigitalTrends identifying an issue with Dolby Atmos playback.
According to the article Disney+, much like Netflix does, has restricted Dolby Atmos support depending on which streaming device is used.