Netflix changed the game by cutting out the middleman and offering direct, more affordable streaming services. They amassed great profit and now, some major American corporations are trying to compete. Some of the biggest content producers in the industry aim to utilize the potential of streaming video online and build proprietary pipelines into users phones, tablets, computers, and living rooms.
Services by the following providers will try to compete with Netflix:
- Disney (and Hulu)
“The modern media company must develop extensive direct-to-consumer relationships,” said AT&T chairman-CEO Randall Stephenson to investors, quoted by Variety Magazine. “We think pure wholesale business models for media companies will be really tough to sustain over time.”
At present, conventional media conglomerates feel the urgency to act out of fear that Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook are busy creating global content platforms that will dwarf their operations and bring down their bottom line. Disney is leading the pack to catch up with Netflix. According to Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger, the corporation’s planned launch of a suite of DTC services is “the biggest priority of the company during calendar [year] 2019.”
Disney is planning to take control of Hulu, a platform that has evolved from catch-up coverage on the previous night’s TV shows to a much-coveted consumer platform over the past ten years. Disney will buy the majority share in Hulu through its $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox assets.
Conventional industry leaders have been experimenting with DTC options for the past few years. Another player to reckon with is CBS, who surprised skeptics by launching its CBS All Access streaming service, which blends original series with live feeds of CBS programming. Among the former are a new “Star Trek” entry and a growing number of other originals. CBS’ All Access won’t beat Netflix in terms of growth, but so far there’s been enough demand to generate almost 3 million subscribers.
“From a business-model perspective it’s really the Holy Grail for us,” says Joe Ianniello, chief operating officer of CBS Corp, quoted by various media. “The highest-margin consumers we have are CBS All Access subscribers. Consumers are demanding content on the go at the click of the button, and they’re willing to pay a fee for it.”
The last entry on our list is HBO, who moved into the DTC arena with the launch of HBO Now in 2015. This was the first time in history the premium channel was available to consumers without an MVPD subscription. Currently, HBO Now has over 5 million subscribers. AT&T finds the HBO brand to be a great platform for consumer marketing and a range of high-end services.