Skip to content

Nerd Talk: Enough streaming services to make you dizzy

Megan Roth’s weekly column about pop culture and all things geeky

Netflix once dominated the world of streaming. They practically invented it.

Now it seems like the streaming service is in trouble, with companies ending their contract, more and more services becoming available and small increases to the monthly price.

Add to all that, there is also the company’s $20-million debt to take into account.

The question has to be asked: Will Netflix continue to be the juggernaut or fall like others before it - looking at you Shomi.

The question comes after the news Disney will be ending their contract with the service in favour of starting their own streaming service.

And, Disney is not alone in this way of thinking. DC Entertainment, known for the Batman, Justice League and Teen Titan shows (among all the so-so movies to date) also announced earlier this year their own streaming service which will be up and running sometime in 2018.

Some shows have already pulled away from Netflix as well, joining with other services like CraveTV. If you want to watch Orphan Black but don’t have the Space channel, then you probably have a subscription to CraveTV - which is reasonably priced at $7.99 a month.

Not to mention the Amazon Prime streaming service, which while available to Canadians, the only real reason to get it at this moment in time is for the The Grand Tour - which was once known as Top Gear on the BBC before Jeremy Clarkson went crazy. And American Gods, because that shows looks as wonderful as the book.

Another issue Netflix will soon be facing is the addition of Hulu to the international market.

Right now, Hulu is only available in the U.S. but it was announced - around the time of Disney’s departure announcement - it would soon be available to Canadians.

That means Canadians will soon be able to watch shows like The Handmaiden’s Tale.

Netflix will also face the competition of CBS, who will finally open streaming up to Canadians with CBS All Access.

With all these new competitors on the field, and more sure to come, where does that leave Netflix?

The streaming services has dominated the field for years for a reason, they know what they are doing.

Adding original content - much of which is phenomenal, some is just dismal - was a stroke of genius. One which was copied by Hulu and Amazon Prime. Though the acquisition and production of these titles could be part of the reason the company is in debt.

Even with the increased price, really even at $13.99 for new customers the price is very reasonable - and the increased saturation of the market, Netflix will be fine.

Having competition is part of the game. The strong will prevail. When both Crave and Shomi came out a few years ago everyone thought it was the end of Netflix because there was mention of a slight price increase.

While CraveTV is still around, did anyone actually use Shomi? And if they did, did they like it?

What I’m not liking about this whole situation isn’t the increase in competition, it’s that every company and every channel seems to be getting in on the action.

Soon it’ll be like having cable or satellite only more expensive.

The sad part is, I’ll probably get a subscription to the Disney streaming service, and the DC Entertainment one too. Because I’m a sucker.

Competition is part of capitalism, and like or it not, that is the world we live in. Netflix will survive this, because, despite the debt, it knows what its customers want.

I will be keeping my Netflix subscription and maybe grab another one or two, just to check them out.