The Rise of Streaming Services

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Michael Aaron Coopersmith | mcoopersmith@radford.edu

With Disney+ opening up to the internet, one can see that its presence has made a considerable social impact. It seems now that people are beginning to accept having to deal with a paywall to watch certain shows that pique their interest.

No longer will the streaming giant of Netflix remain the massive holder of shows and movies that capture a broad and dedicated audience.

Now, one can try and see the pros and cons of this shift in the dynamic of streaming services. One benefit of the increase in competition of streaming services is that one could expect the quality of shows and entertainment to improve and grow the audience. Yet, the disadvantage of this increase in diversity seems to be disturbing me the most.

I find that the new-found increase of streaming services can enter users into a new dark age. My reasoning behind this stems from the fact that services are now picking up certain shows that have a dedicated audience behind them. This ransoming of shows will pry the funds from their devoted audience.

The Office is one of the most relevant examples of this. I know certain people have a Netflix subscription just to watch The Office. In fact, a previous roommate of mine used the show as a sleep aid; the sounds of “That’s what she said,” rocked him to sleep. Now, NBC announced that their new streaming service, Peacock, will be removing The Office from Netflix and moving it onto their service. I can only suspect that many members of The Office’s fanbase will dislike this move.

Yet, what will stop other shows with large and dedicated fanbases from being moved to a provider’s personal streaming service. That one might live in worry of their favorite show no longer being offered on its original medium, thereby leaving them at the benevolence of the provider-specific service it’s now exclusive to.

I find this shift more negative than positive. Streaming services will become what cable has grown into. Streaming users will have to deal with providers now creating paywalls and being at the mercy of how much these providers want to charge.

Disney+ sets the precedent that they can do this to streaming service users. Slowly, we will see shows that we care about being forced into the clutches of the providers that make them. The dynamic of online distribution will become solely based on having multiple streaming subscriptions just to get certain shows that we want to see.

Is this truly what we want entertainment to be?

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