Will Streaming Become the New Cable Package?

Want to watch Stranger Things? Get Netflix. Handmaid’s Tale, you can find it on Hulu. What about The Man in the High Castle? That requires a subscription to Prime Video. This situation will only get worse due to the popularity of streaming platforms. Beginning next year, many of the major media companies are pulling their franchises off competing streaming services in order to populate their own products. Therefore, if you want to watch all these shows, it won’t come cheap and might actually become more expensive than a traditional cable package.

Below are the most prominent streaming services currently available in the US with their associated monthly cost for their most popular subscription tier.

Streaming services don’t follow the same constraints of releasing shows in the Fall (fun fact, did you know shows come out in the fall because football season is the best time for advertisers??) but September is still a great time to create a binge worthy queue. The First (Hulu) and Maniac (Netflix) give us future, dystopian vibes with big actors and even bigger budgets. Amazon is throwing every ounce of promotional might it has behind Jack Ryan, and we’re excited to see Jim Halpert as a marine.

* Assumed same price as CBS All Access since most comparable service currently on the market

None of these streaming services provide live TV channels which cost an additional $35-$40/month to purchase a skinny bundle from various services such as DirecTV Now or PlayStation Vue nor does it include the high-speed internet package necessary to even operate these streaming services. Most cord cutters left the cable bundle due to the overall costs of the package containing channels that they barely watched. The benefit of having multiple standalone streaming services, although expensive to subscribe to all, is that they allow users to decide which service they will utilize purchase. Lastly, the advent of streaming has changed the habits of the audience to not be beholden to the clock. Now the audience can watch a show whenever, wherever.

With the introduction of new services, there has always been movement from one extreme to the next as perception of value changes year to year. I would not be surprised if a new enterprise begins bundling the various streaming services together to form a new type of cable package. We have begun seeing the beginnings of such partnerships between various services such as Hulu teaming up with Spotify and other streaming sites being offered with mobile services. We are in the midst of peak TV which is great for consumers, if they are willing to pay for it.