Cable for Streamers

M. G. Siegler, writing at his site 500ish.com, says piracy is coming back in full-force not for music, but for television shows and movies. He thinks price isn’t the issue, but the lack of a unified service to connect all the services together.

Even if you are eventually paying for all of these services, the experience of using them as their own, stand-alone apps is sub-par. Which is a nice way of saying crap”. It’s like an egg hunt in a coal mine. Friends was on Netflix, now it’s on HBO Max. The Office was on Netflix, now it’s on NBC Whatever. So and So Movie was on Amazon Prime Video, but now it has been pulled to stream exclusively for the next three month window on Showtime. You will not be able to keep up with it all. Nor should you.

In a way, the success state here ends up looking like… cable. A simple, unified UI to serve up the different content you want. Even better if you can buy different content sources as… bundles. Funny that.

Basically, he thinks Apple or some company is going to create a cable company” for all the streaming sites.

I think he’s wrong. Or maybe I should say he’s not quite right.

To my mind, what people want is to curate their own entertainment by show. I said this back in March.

Let’s say I want to watch Game of Thrones, Star Trek Discovery, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, all the seasons of Criminal Minds, Shameless, Doom Patrol, This is Us, Russian Doll, Cobra Kai and live sports. I’d have to subscribe to nine streaming services and probably a cable package to get it all.

This is untenable.

What Apple or some company needs to do is create a way for every television show, live event, and movie to be available for streaming by name. I don’t want to subscribe to nine different streaming services. I want one service that costs me maybe as much as $50 a month and I get everything.

EVERY. THING.

July 28, 2019


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