Every week, the streaming market widens as more and more streaming services pop up to try and carve out their own piece of the pie. Wider isn’t always better, though; in some ways, the streaming world is becoming wide as an ocean, deep as a puddle. Sure, there are dozens if not hundreds of top-notch and award-winning streaming originals, but it now takes a half a dozen subscriptions to be able to watch them all. The days of having to choose between Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video are over, with many more big-name contenders now drawing in subscriptions. As the market continues to fracture and expand, many analysts are wondering if we’ve now reached the peak of this streaming ‘bubble’ and asking when it will burst.
In the wake of several recent big-name failures like Seeso, Yahoo Screen, and others, it seems like the market just can’t handle another streaming service. It’s not just the ever-growing number of choices, though; it turns out streaming service subscriptions overall are slowing. Prices have been rising across the board as services face growing pains and competition for content, and consumers are likely turning to free, ad-supported streaming options.
Those rising costs, coupled with content ‘siloing,’ are now leading to some cable cutters paying as much for multiple streaming services as they once did for cable. For those reasons, The Atlantic’s David Sims this week asked if the “Wild West” era of streaming is coming to an end and if we’ll soon see the streaming bubble pop. “The siloed age of television has arrived, a time when people will be paying six or seven different monthly fees, if not more, to keep abreast of pop culture—and the cost will end up approximating the hefty cable bill that every cord cutter has sought to avoid,” Sims writes, adding that “the financial burden on consumers will continue to grow.”
How long before streaming starts to come with as many headaches as cable does?