In this new digital age of entertainment, it’s not anything to be embarrassed about if you end up feeling a little overwhelmed and or confused about exactly what options will be available in the already-crowded-soon-t0-escalate streaming wars (aka the battle for your TV – your subscription dollars, euros, etc). How much will it cost? How will it work; will it be on-demand or scheduled ‘broadcasts’? Will it be worth the expense? One thing is for certain, whenever the dust settles it will be a whole new ballgame with more options available for adult genre content than ever before in the history of television (for a price).
Of course, when deciding which services to choose, a lot of that decision will be based on not only what content will be made available but also what sorts of content. Each available service has its strengths and shortcomings, leaving us, in some cases, with making the difficult choice of choosing one service over the other.
Another thing to consider is what type of service would you prefer? Essentially, you have two options when it comes to TV streaming. It appears, for now, on-demand services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu will continue to release content one entire season at once allowing fans the opportunity to binge while offering a combination of original and licensed shows and movies that can be streamed any time, while live TV streaming services like HBO Max, CBS All Access, and Disney + will provide service that mimics traditional cable TV channels with scheduled weekly episodes, at least initially, with all content later available on demand.
It’s no secret that the planned launch of Disney+ in November 2019 is ushering in a whole new era of streaming, one where established industry leaders like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video are facing growing competition from major new players in the industry. Apple is building its own streaming service, Apple TV Plus. AT&T’s WarnerMedia has stumbled a little while getting things in order but shows promise to be another major contender streaming service that for now, is in beta.
Yet more competition is coming after Entertainment giants CBS and Viacom are to merge in the latest media mega-deal as broadcasters adapt to changing consumer demands. The new company will have $28bn in revenue and comprise brands like MTV, Comedy Central, and Paramount Pictures. The merged firm, to be called ViacomCBS, would be controlled by National Amusements, the holding company owned by billionaire Sumner Redstone and his daughter, Shari.
There’s also the matter of bundles. Yes, just like with cable services there are early indications that there will be bundled services available at a lower rate than getting them separately. In fact. Disney has already announced a bundle deal before the fact. Disney will offer a bundle package of its three streaming services — Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ — for $12.99 a month starting on November 12th. It doesn’t take much in the way of imagination to realize Disney’s competitors will soon follow suit.
Disney + is the obvious super-heavyweight in the ring here and the titan juggernaut of entertainment fired another broadside at D23 this weekend with several programming announcements. On Friday at its biennial fan convention, the D23 Expo, Disney revealed six more original series. In addition to originals that we knew about, like a live-action, big-budget Star Wars spinoff The Mandalorian, Disney unveiled plans for: a Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi series with Ewan McGregor reprising his role; three new live-action Marvel shows based on the characters Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight and She-Hulk; an “unscripted” short-form series Muppets Now; and Lizzie McGuire revival with Hilary Duff playing the role she originated as a teen.
Overall, we know that Disney Plus will be the exclusive streaming home for all of Disney’s theatrical releases in 2019 and beyond, starting with Captain Marvel at launch. Avengers: Endgame will be available to binge Dec. 11, and Disney Plus will be the exclusive place to stream the rest of Disney’s slate, including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Frozen 2, The Lion King, Toy Story 4 and so on. It will also have original series and movies exclusive to its service.
Disney+ will launch in the fall and likely be available to all streaming platforms, including apps for iOS, AppleTV, and iPadOS but minus native support for any Amazon Fire product. The service will cost $6.99 a month, or $69.99 a year if purchased annually.
Upon launch on November 12 of this year, Disney will start rolling out all Star Wars films within one year. “The Mandalorian” will be available at the debut of the service.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Disney CEO, Bob Iger told a group of investors, “We are developing not just one, but a few Star Wars series specifically for the Disney direct-to-consumer app.”
In addition to the new series planned for Disney+, Disney will leverage a good portion of over 80 years of Disney intellectual property. Disney also has access to content from its recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox. The service will be geared toward providing family-friendly content with a broad appeal.
Although the future TV landscape is still shifting and rapidly adapting and evolving, this is the most current info we could dig up on what the future of TV will cost: Amazon Prime (w/lots of extras) is now $119.00 a year, while Netflix offers a basic plan for $8.99, a standard plan with HD quality video for $12.99 and a premium plan for $15.99 that provides up to four Ultra HD streams. Meanwhile, Disney+ is coming to market in November with a $7 monthly plan, while WarnerMedia’s forthcoming HBO Max service is expected to cost at least $17 a month — and Apple likewise hasn’t revealed yet how it will price its coming Apple TV+ service. For you Trek fans CBS all access will set you back around $7 monthly
What’s my solution? Of course, I will be adding Disney +; at that price how can I resist? I already have Amazon’s excellent service and since I get most of my stuff from them I don’t see me dropping the subscription any time soon. For a streaming service more along the lines of having a cable service (lots of sports channels including ESPN, drama, news, and even kids channels) at a more reasonable price I can recommend a service I use at 247iptv.org for $60 annually. Until next time, happy viewing.