Two years from now, the only people who will have cable will be old people who don’t understand streaming platforms. Basically, everything will be consolidated under the following streaming platforms:
That pretty much covers all of the content, save for AMC Networks and Lionsgate, which will probably be gobbled up by one of the above services (or Google/Youtube) in the next couple of years, as cable dries up. Otherwise, those platforms will account for almost everything else you watch on cable (Hulu gets Fox/FX/ABC, NBCUniversal gets NBC, Warner gets TBS/TNT/CNN and a lot of TV shows that air on other networks). Price-wise, all of those streaming platforms combined will probably total more than the cable bill, but the nice thing about streaming services is that you can pick and choose, and subscribe and unsubscribe, depending upon your viewing habits. You could do Netflix for a month, then jump to WarnerMedia, and then back to Disney/Hulu, depending on what shows are airing.
Outside of Netflix and Disney/Hulu, WarnerMedia will probably be the biggest player come this winter. The streaming service will go for around $16 or $17, and it will include a lot of WarnerMedia shows like Friends, Seinfeld, and Big Bang Theory, as well as a massive movie catalogue that includes the Harry Potter movies, A Star in Born, Casablanca, and the DC films.
But here’s why you’re probably going to end up getting it: Because it also includes HBO and Cinemax, and if you’re like me, you already pay $15 a month for HBO. For an extra dollar, you get … everything else. Meanwhile, with the way things are going over on DC Streaming (Swamp Thing was cancelled after one episode aired), it will probably be folded into WarnerMedia at some point, too.
HBO and Friends/Seinfeld immediately makes it super competitive with Netflix, and while it does cost more than the other streaming networks, the fact that HBO and Cinemax are included ultimately makes it cheaper in the long run, if you’re already an HBO subscriber (and hey! Having Cinemax means that your teenage kids can run downstairs in the middle of the night and watch Skinemax offerings, just you like did as a teenager!)
We’re getting very close to being able to officially cut those cords, folks, without losing anything, assuming, hopefully — that live events (the Oscars, Super Bowl, NFL, NBA) will also be available on those streaming platforms. Media consolidation is terrible, but the lone upside is that those a la carte choices will be much easier.
It’s a shame, though, that we in America don’t have Crave, the Canadian streaming network that basically curates all the best TV shows under one platform. I am obsessed with it, and would kill for a subscription.