As 2019 ends streaming war heats up

Story by CaRon Lofton, Staff Writer

Let the streaming wars begin! In the near future there will be a surplus of available treaming networks. There are already lots of different streaming networks that have been accessible to the public for a long time. Streaming giants such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video have shows from the past and original programing. At the start of November, the public will get a new slate of streaming services starting with Disney Plus. 

Disney Plus came out on Nov. 12 for the price of $6.99 a month or $69.99 for a yearly subscription. When you subscribe to Disney Plus, you will be getting more than 800 different TV shows and movies that date back to the early 1930s and are as recent as 2019. Disney Plus will also have new content added in the coming years for some of the top franchises that Disney has purchased such as two “Star Wars” prequels, new episodes of “The Simpsons” and all new Marvel Studios content based on characters from the movies. The service will also be bringing back beloved Disney movies such as “High School Musical” and “Monsters Inc.” In an interview with CNBC, Disney CEO and Chairman, Bob Iger, had lots to say about their upcoming service. 

“We enter this business I think with a real strength in terms of the brand infinity our products have,” Iger said.

Disney Plus isn’t the only new streaming service coming to smart TV’s nationwide. Apple TV Plus has already premiered on Nov.1 with new original content and old shows such as “The Big Bang Theory” and “Seinfeld.” As of now, Apple doesn’t have exclusive rights to old content like all the other companies have. However, Apple makes up with this by charging only $5 a month with a 7-day free trial. The new original content will bring noteworthy names such as Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Oprah Winfrey to the screen, while also spreading the word about the service. 

HBO Max is the next big network coming in May 2020 with a plethora of exclusive new and old content. Starting at a hefty price of $14.99 a month, people who have HBO Go or are with AT&T as their cable provider will be upgraded as soon as it starts at no additional charge. HBO also has rights to all Warner Brothers content, meaning users have their daily dose of all things DC and will have exclusive rights to some people’s favorite shows such as “Friends,” “South Park,” “Rick and Morty” and a reboot of “Gossip Girl.” If you are already subscribed to any other HBO streaming service, this gives you much more content for no extra charge. However, the biggest question introduced is if this will bring in more consumers with such a lofty price, but we won’t know the answer until it is released. It’s unclear if offering more content at the same price will be enough to expand the total HBO base. AT&T COO John Stankey said.

Where does this leave streaming services that have been around for years such as Hulu and Netflix? Hulu is partly owned by Disney and if you want to, you can buy Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN plus for only $12.99 as the monthly price, giving Hulu an advantage. On the other hand, Netflix will lose coveted shows in the foreseeable future, including “The Office” and “Friends,”. This brings down the value of Netflix, as people who subscribe solely because of certain shows that will be leaving the platform, and at a price of $12.99 a month this will only hurt even more. That being said, Netflix will still have their big hit original shows such as “Stranger Things” and “Black Mirror”. The question is, do people really need this many streaming services and are they willing to pay for them?