The diversity of online streaming platforms has continued to grow throughout 2020. In 2021 there are now over twenty different platforms all vying for our monthly subscription dollars. When Netflix first launched, it was seen as an alternative to a cable or satellite TV package by many. Netflix provides high-quality video on demand, and users get to choose only the things they wish to watch. This is in contrast to having to stick to a schedule prepared by TV executives, whose tastes may not necessarily reflect those of the viewers.
Diversity of Platforms
The success of Netflix led many other companies to enter this space, too. So today, we have Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, MagellanTV, YouTube Premium, and Twitch, amongst others. All of these companies offer a similar service to Netflix. There is a downside to this – many of these platforms are buying up exclusive rights to programs that were previously available on regular Cable TV. This can mean some viewers require several such subscriptions to be able to watch all of the content they enjoy.
On the other hand, the Cable & Satellite companies were charging such huge amounts for their largest packages that you can subscribe to several streaming platforms and still pay considerably less than a regular Cable TV subscription. As long as you have a fast and reliable internet connection, you are free to watch only the content you enjoy, at a time that is convenient to you.
The Variety of Content
As of 2020, more people are using streaming services than ever before. A recent report indicated that 60% of global internet traffic is now devoted to streaming video content. Over 85% of US internet users stream video in some capacity and over half of US households have a subscription to Netflix alone.
People just don’t want to be stuck with a fixed schedule of programs anymore; they want to be able to watch what they want, when they want. Beauty and cooking streams are particularly popular areas of interest amongst viewers, with YouTube’s AdSense algorithm allocating extremely high ad revenue to streamers concentrating on these areas of content.
Another area of particular interest is gaming, and twitch is showing phenomenal growth year on year. Their business model is slightly different, with revenue going to specific streamers instead and Twitch taking a cut. Many streamers choose to play casino games and demonstrate various casino bonuses.
Platforms such as Twitch and YouTube allow streamers to interact with their viewers. Features such as this simply were not possible using regular TV. Live chat functionality allows those watching the stream to discuss what is going on in real-time, interact with each other, and with the streamer themselves.
Some streamers even run prize draws or give gifts away to their viewers, sharing a cut of their profits back with their audience. Again, this is just not possible using regular, fixed TV programming.
This has appeared in many forms recently. We have seen the WWE arena filled with hundreds of LCD panels, each showing a different viewer, allowing these fans to enjoy the match in a very different kind of way. Watching the match, you can see yourself on your own personal LCD screen somewhere around the arena, with different viewers moving around the arena every few minutes, allowing everyone the chance to see themselves on TV.
Netflix Party is another synchronized viewing technology that allows friends and family members to all watch a certain show together. All members involved in the “party” can communicate with each other via voice and video using an additional device such as a tablet or smartphone, whilst watching the primary show on their main television screen.
This is particularly attractive to the streaming platforms because it encourages viewers to come and watch certain shows with their friends. Have you ever tried to convince a friend to watch a show with you for months, and had little success? Technology like Netflix Party may be just what is needed to convince them to try it with you!
A Short Conclusion
With every new TV being sold now including the technology needed to access these video streaming services, regular channels are likely to become less and less important in the future. It will be interesting to see what new trends develop throughout 2021.