Streaming wars only hurt the viewers

Evan Williamson, Courier Staff

Over the past few years, more and more people have elected to cut their cable and satellite to save money, with alternatives like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.

The problem with cable and satellite is that you can’t get all the channels you want without paying a fortune. Streaming sites have been getting popular because for a small fee you can watch the shows you want to. But you might have noticed that more streaming services are popping up and each of those streaming services has tried to pick up the rights to different shows.

Netflix has been hit hard with this, and will be losing the rights to shows like the Office to NBC’s streaming service, and Friends to another streaming service. Amazon Prime is losing Doctor Who to HBO Max, and all Disney content (including Marvel, Star Wars, Indiana Jones and presumably some ABC shows) will be taken off Netflix and others (Hulu is now owned by Disney, so some content might be available) to make way for the new Disney Plus. Disney Plus will have a bunch of exclusive tv-series and movies and include most of their library (Song of the South still missing, and some movies will be edited.)

This all presents a new problem, to watch all your favorite shows you have to subscribe to a variety of streaming sites that range in price. I have five different streaming services, one of them is free (HBO GO is free to WIU Students). For me to be able to watch all the shows I want, I would have to subscribe to at least 10 different websites. It is starting to look like streaming is becoming packages, similar to cable.

I saw a comment on Facebook a while back that pretty much said that if this continues to happen, there will be a rise in pirated content. I believe this 100 percent. Don’t act all righteous, we have all watched an illegal stream or downloaded something on Youtube to put on our iPods. Why do we do this? We do it for a number of reasons. Money is a big one, because people don’t want to pay for a bunch of different services. For example, before the WWE Network became a thing, people would find random websites to find a PPV stream because they didn’t want to pay $60 a month, with the Network it only costs $9.99 a month, so people are less inclined to do that.

Availability is another huge reason, whether the shows are not available anywhere (no legal streaming, no DVDs or not on TV), only available in certain areas (foreign TV Shows/Movies/Events, blacked-out sporting events, newscasts etc,) or you simply don’t have a particular channel or are unable to get a signal, which some of us experienced during the Super Bowl earlier this year.

My point is, there are going to be necessary times for doing this, but with less legal ways to do this, because of the price of all the streaming services and every country having their own copyrights on shows (You can watch Harry Potter on Japan’s Hulu), it gets frustrating, and we as consumers will find a better way for us to get content. Unfortunately, that means more pirating. I don’t blame streaming services for doing what they are doing, it’s good business.