It was not long ago that Netflix entered the market with its game-changing streaming service. And with a few years expanded from the movie and tv mecca of America to almost every corner of the earth. Of course, others soon joined and helped give the consumer some options. Among them Hulu, ShowMax and Amazon Prime. None of them as successful as Netflix but successful none the less.
But this is fast becoming a crowded field. Apple and Google have entered the data consuming market with DC strumming along. Soon we will have the juggernaut Disney Plus. The only real threat to Netflix when you really think about it. At first glance, it looks great. So many options and great programming that we could potentially get. But then you run the math. At ten dollars a pop, or R145 for us third world dwellers, adding more than 2 subscriptions and the value starts to rise pretty quickly. Sure this will have the big wigs at MultiChoice grinning ear to ear. But what does this mean to us the consumer? Well in short options come at a cost.
How does one choose which platform to use?
It will come down to which service provider can string together the best package of programs and price points. However, for South Africans, it will be a much narrower choice. Our current basket of choice is Netflix, Showmax, Amazon Prime and DSTV.
Firstly DSTV Now is not even a real option. This is because it requires an actual DSTV subscription to have access and the content available is governed by the package you on. If you are someone who just needs streaming while you away from home then this is great as there are no added fees. DSTV needs to offer a Streaming only package quickly or else be crushed by the shift in paradigm. Next is Showmax, which is considered the extension of DSTV Now. It isn’t bad service but it isn’t good either. It just lacks the content that Netflix has. Sure it has Game of Thrones but you can’t solely rely on that. Showmax has potential, especially with its price range. But, in order to be truly competitive, it needs to start getting serious with content.
This leads us to Amazon Prime, another service that isn’t hitting the market with original content. It has potential and is driven by a market leader but is just not hitting the right spots. So that leaves the default winner Netflix. Which isn’t really a bad thing, as they produce extremely good original content. The sources content is regularly updated and even the app is intuitive and has good algorithms to help users choose programs that they will enjoy. But sadly what it shows it that really we have no choice. There are some good options across the ocean, like Hulu or the uber-expensive PlayStation Vue. These come with live tv and sports add ons.
Enter the (Disney) Dragon
With Disney Plus to go live in November and most likely hit our shores in 2020, it will be a game changer. Without even launching the hypes engine has begun to turn its pistons. The service will launch with the highly anticipated shows, fresh of the success of Avengers Endgame; Loki, Scarlet/Vision and the Winter Soldier/Falcon series. Disney with its rich catalog of programs and its very deep pockets will be a force to reckon with. This will be fantastic for the consumer. The downfall is they won’t have much mature options.
Options will expand for us as our data becomes more affordable, but even then I feel the perfect combination would be the Netflix/Disney. A healthy mixture that should cater for the entire family, well besides sports.