Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Streaming Wars: A New Hope for Your Friday Night

Disney+, Amazon, Netflix
Tired of Netflix?  Then look our for the new streaming services Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and Peacock.

Netflix, and I'm not the only one to say this, feels like sifting through clothing at an outlet mall: everything looks the same and it's all undesirable. 

How much time do you spend scouring their immense catalog to no avail?  Guess what bubbled to the surface after one exceptionally long search?  The Purge.  (Spoiler alert: The Purge is vomit-inducing.)

But hope is on the horizon!  The moguls at Disney, HBO, NBC, Apple, and more are hard at work creating tons and tons of content for new streaming platforms.  

Here's a look at the streaming services launching in the upcoming months, including prices and what content to expect!  

AppleTV+

LaunchNovember 1st (one week away!)
Cost$5/month --one free year with the purchase of an Apple device

AppleTV+ promises nine movie at launch, including an Emily Dickenson biopic and On the Rocks, directed by Sophia Coppola and starring Bill Murray.  (Where have we seen that Academy-Award winning combo before?)  Other original content includes the series “Morning Show” with Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.  Watching this duo alone is worth the subscription price. 

AppleTV+ has partnered with A24, the distributor of the low-budget Academy Award winning movies Moonlight and Ladybird.  

This artsy niche they're carving out has potential.  I, for one, am allured.  But then again, how many people actually watched Ladybird and Moonlight?  LadyBird earned $10 million and Moonlight only $4.  That's nothing compared with Disney's Marvel and Pixar movies—Toy Store 4, for example, just earned over $1 billion. 

In light of the other streaming services coming out, I don't see a lot of people purchasing a subscription to AppleTV+.  Although it surely will be enjoyed by people who have the complimentary year.  But who knows.  

Disney+

Launch: November 12
          Bundled with Hulu & ESPN: $13/month

Disney+ will include everything in the Disney catalogue: "more than 7,500 episodes and 500 films".  This includes Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic.  Disney is gradually removing all their content from Netflix to put onto Disney+.

Disney recently acquired 21st Century Fox, so Disney+ will include oldies-but-goodies like Home Alone, and the not-so-good Ad Astra (I haven't seen it so this is a second-hand opinion). 

"The Simpsons" will stream exclusively on Disney+, as well as tons of new content, including the movie Noelle (starring Bill Hader, Anna Kendrick, and Shirley MacLaine) and Lady and the Tramp.  The series "Mandelorian", set in the Star Wars Universe, and "Encore", starring Kristin Bell, will also stream at launch.  This content is not the low-budget Hallmark-esque films we're accustomed to watching at home: the budget for "Mandalorain" is $120 million!

Disney+ subscribers have the option to bundle with Hulu and ESPN for $13/month.  These additional platforms appeal to a broad spectrum of adults and children.      

All of this content at the low price of $7/month ($13 bundled) will make it hard to give Disney+ a pass.  Do you think you'll subscribe?  

HBO Max (WarnerMedia)


HBO ushered in the golden age of television with "Sex and the City" and "Sopranos".  And its streaming platform will include all their stellar content, including wildly popular shows like "Game of Thrones" and "Big Little Lies".

HBO Max also has secured rights to classic 90s shows like "Friends" and "Fresh Prince of Bel Air".  They've partnered with BBC and will bring "Luther" and "Doctor Who" to the platform.  Plus, they've purchased rights to "Big Bang Theory" for five years.  

New content includes six new movies, the DC show "Doom Patrol", a rom-com anthology series with Anna Kendrick, and new "Sesame Street" episodes (all of the old "Sesame Street" will be available to stream as well). 

Enticed?  

HBO Max will probably be the most expensive streaming service.  They haven't stated the price, but it's speculated to be around $20/month.  Even with HBO's consistent high quality, this price point will make it hard to compete. 

Peacock (NBC Universal)

Launch: April 2020

Peacock will launch with reboots of "Punky Brewster" (with the one and only Soleil Moon Frye!), "Battlestar Gallactica" and "Saved By the Bell".  It's gonna be fun to see these characters on screen again.  Additionally, Peacock will stream old NBC shows, including "Parks & Recreation" and "The Office".  

In addition to "The Tonight Show", Peacock will add a second new talk show with the immensely banal Jimmy Fallon.  

Between movies, news, series, and late night, Peacock promises 15,000 hours of content.  The Tokyo Summer Olympics should entice prospective subscribers. 

Fallon's not exactly a sharp interviewer, so I don't know that he'll shine in a second show.  And who else is experiencing reboot fatigue?  Idk, even with "Battlestar Gallactica", Peacock may not be poised for the fierce upcoming war.  What's your take? 

Quibi

Launch: April 6, 2020

Film Producer Jeffry Katzenberg and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman teamed up to create Quibi, short for “quick-bite”.  This phone streaming service will stream only short videos of ten minutes or less.

Quibi will stream only original content.  The best names in Hollywood are on board, including directors Guillermo del Toro and Steven Soderbergh (he's created “After Dark”, a show that can only be viewed at night!), and actors Anna Kendrick, Lawrence Fishbourne and Chrissy Teigan.  The producers of "60 Minutes" will have 6-minute programs on Quibi as well.  

Capitalizing on the trend of watching video in sound-bites, Quibi has carved out a niche of its own.  I'm looking forward to this.

And of Course There's Prime, Hulu, Netflix, & CBS All Access

The current streaming services, as you can see, will be facing STIFF new competition.  And they're working hard to stay edgy.

Here are their current monthly prices:

Hulu$6/month with ads, $12/month ad-free—also bundles with Disney+
Netflix$9-$16/month 

Netflix will lose a lot of licensed content to the other streaming platforms, and are leaning in on their huge hit "Stranger Things"--they've recently signed a contract with its creators, the Duffer Brothers.  And they continue to pour money into the Oscar race.  After winning several Oscars with Roma last year, they hope to do the same with Scorsese's Irishman.  They also acquired streaming rights to "Seinfeld" for a pretty penny.
  
Amazon continues in its plan to dominate earth and space.  They signed a contract with Pheobe Waller-Bridge, after pouring money into "Fleabag" and earning her a right smart number of Emmys.  They're also coming out with a "Lord of the Rings" show and video game.  We'll see how it succeeds. 

CBS All Access will have a New Start Trek Series as well as their current programming, including Stephen Colbert on "The Late Show".  

Hulu should remain in the loop now that it's mostly owned by Disney, and can be bundled with Disney's streaming service Disney+.
  

Who Wins Your Day?

How much are you willing to spend for streaming services?  With the low price point of several new platforms, it's possible to subscribe to two or three for less than $20/month.   

Is there one that particularly stands out for you? 

4 comments

  1. Oooohhhh...a new list to check out! I have Amazon Prime and I get lots of free things through their site. I've had it for a couple of years but just recently started exploring their videos (really I was just using the free shipping part of Prime). And by "started exploring", I mean I was renting a house through VRBO and they didn't have local programming (or I couldn't figure out how to get it on the TV) so I decided to check out Prime and found Mrs. Maisel. I'm hooked. I can't even imagine the next program I decide to "explore". TWO things to watch .... too much to even imagine :P I'm usually pretty happy just to have noise in the background while I'm doing something else, so having access to great programming just blows my mind. Thanks for this great write-up!

    Ruth
    VogueFauxReal

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    1. Yes, I agree, Ruth, with all of these new streaming platforms how can one person possibly keep up with everything? (Well unless we decide to dedicate our entire lives to it!) But it's something to look forward to for sure. Pretty sure I'll sign up for AppleTV+ this weekend.
      I've never had Prime so have missed out on all their shows :(. Heard that Fleabag is pretty good, too.

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  2. I love that there are a lot of options for streaming shows and such! Especially since you don't need to be stuck with one provider that might not have something you're interested in. I'm looking forward to Disney+! I'm thinking about subscribing to it, but we'll see hehe. Wow, other companies are trying to take a piece of that pie too! I only have Netflix right now. I used to have HBO when it was Game of Thrones season, hehe.

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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    1. Yes, it looks like fierce competition for sure. All of these platforms are creating what seems to be excellent content. Disney+ looks like it will great.

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