Do we need another streaming service in the UK?
Laura Behan, Account Director
Last week Apple announced the launch of their TV streaming service due in the latter part of 2019. They are joining the mighty giants of Disney who announced earlier this year the launch of Disney+ their own version of a streaming platform hosting a vast range of their past and present Disney and Marvel content. The difference is Disney is already a content producer and has a vast number of loyal consumers who would pay to watch its content as they do now via other providers. Does Apple have the same credentials to move into streaming?
It most certainly has loyal customers with many of them owning several products and it certainly has the spending power. To announce the launch, they have enlisted some of the most influential content creators and producers in the United States (if not the world) to showcase the art of storytelling including Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams, Sofia Coppola, Ron Howard and many more.
The UK streaming landscape is dominated by two players Netflix and Amazon; however, many would agree that Amazon has always been seen as the underdog. Last year Amazon announced they had secured broadcast rights to show 20 live Premier League matches across the 19-20 season as part of a 3-year deal and with Disney slowly removing its content off the Netflix platform in preparation for its own launch. Could this be the start of a monopoly change?
UK customers are accustomed to paying for quality content with nearly 10m subscribers signed up to Sky and over 9.5m subscribers accessing advert free content via streaming service Netflix. But are we ready to pay for more? To access all content that could be available there is the potential to sign up to six different services; Sky, Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV+, Disney+, BritBox (BBC and ITV collaboration offering paid for content). This is all in addition to UK households already paying around £150 for their annual TV license.
It was less than 10 years ago when Netflix entered the UK, expanding from a DVD rental service to an online streaming service that has shaped the way we watch content today. Whilst there is still growth in this area showcased by the pending Apple and Disney launch, what is next? How will viewers be consuming TV content in another 10 years? Will streaming via the internet be outdated?
UK audiences have become accustomed to accessing content when they want, wherever they want and on any device they want. But will there be a point in time when we have too much choice? And ultimately, will all streaming services survive the boom of on-demand content?