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So many streaming services to choose from, which ones prevail?

So... Many... TV choices...

There's no doubt that the 'Streaming Wars' are fully underway.

Disney is the latest big corporation to throw their hat in the ring, launching Disney+ in North America and the Netherlands last week. Disney released a statement saying they had over 10 million subscribers join Disney+ just one day after their launch date. But they're not the only ones who are trying to break into the scene.

Apple TV+ launched at the start of November, HBO Max is expected to come in May, and NBC's Peacock service is launching in April. They are up against the already established streaming services like Hulu, Crave, Amazon Prime Video, CBS All Access and Netflix, just to name a few.

There are so many services to pick and choose from, and it's not as simple as a 'war'. Some companies are definitely trying to knock Netflix off the throne as the streaming king, but others are just trying to get a share of the market.

"The entertainment industry has always been a very competitive market for viewership," says Joey Hoegg, the Associate Professor and Chair of the Marketing and Behavioural Science Division at UBC Sauder. "The shift in how consumers spend their viewing time has changed the market and how entertainment reaches us."

Apple TV+ is an interesting service. They are not leasing content from outside studios, they are making all original series. They don't have the back catalogue that Disney has, they are building their brand from scratch. Only boasting eight shows and a documentary, it makes sense that they are only looking for a share of the market since they are only charging five dollars a month.

"Apple TV+ is even offered for free for a year if you purchase a new Apple device, so it doesn't look like they're trying to go head-to-head against the streaming juggernauts," says Hoegg. "What they're trying to do is take advantage of their brand recognition, and the fact that so many people own Apple devices, to get a share in the market. It's more about just the expansion of the streaming market rather than trying to steal consumers away."

With all of these streaming services looking to reel people in, it begs the question: Who will come out on top in a few years' time?

"It's such an unpredictable market so it's very hard to say, although I could see consolidations happening between services," Hoegg says. "Disney already owns Hulu, and I think if more players enter into the market, you might see quite a few consolidation agreements happening between services."

Consolidation and streaming service mergers sound kind of familiar, they're almost a direct parallel to an ancient method of consuming television called a 'cable package'. Which is what streaming services set out to prove were outdated, right?



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