The golden age of streaming is almost over

I was a late subscriber to Netflix. I’ve only had it for a couple of years, and yet I can barely remember a time not having it. It’s the same feeling that people have when they try and remember not having a smartphone.

The thing that attracted me to Netflix is the same as everyone else – everything (well, almost) was on there. You had big blockbuster films, classic TV series and their own original programmes too. Stranger Things and Black Mirror, to name a few, have been must-watches for me since subscribing. And there’s been many times where I’ve scrolled through, found an interesting looking film, and just watched.

However, it looks like all of this is sadly about to change. Netflix is about to be the victim of its own success.

The thing is companies have seen how big Netflix and others, like Now TV, have become and they now want a slice of that market. Disney are set to launch their streaming service in November, Apple have announced theirs with original programming too, and NBC are reclaiming content from Netflix, ready to launch their own service in the near future.

Whilst competition is normally a good thing, because it’s meant to drive costs down for the consumer, in this case it isn’t. Say I want to be able to stream the latest Star Wars film, watch an episode of Friends, download an episode of Orange Is The New Black and then save an old episode of Jonathon Creek.

Pretty soon, I’m going to have to be subscribed to four different services, whereas before I could be subscribed to just one or two. And with the cost of Netflix going up this month, it’s clear that it’s going to be the consumer that loses out as a result.

By splitting up what you want to watch over several services, you’ll soon have to make a decision about whether the new Marvel film is worth $7 a month, whilst keeping up other subscriptions too.

The great thing about streaming was the ability to watch almost everything for a small cost per month, but now that that’s coming to an end, viewers will have to choose between paying triple or quadruple what they pay now, or returning to browsing the internet to find a dodgy website to watch it for free (at the cost of closing endless numbers of pop-ups).

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