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Op-Ed: How Many Streaming Services are Too Many?

First, there was Netflix. It was new and liberating. For a cheap subscription, you could get access to countless TV shows and movies, and best of all, without any ads. Many of us were quick to cancel or downgrade our cable subscriptions. We could watch as many episodes of our favorite TV shows as we wanted whenever we desired. Soon enough Hulu came along, followed by Amazon Prime, Apple TV, HBO, and the list goes on.  

In the last couple of years, the streaming market has bloated with not only new platforms but also new content hubs within the older platforms, as is the case of Star and Disney+. Consumers are becoming overwhelmed with the number of available options, and they have taken to social media to express their frustration that there is too much to choose from. 

However, it is not just a problem of quantity. Every new streaming service that comes about brings with it a series of changes that ripple in its competitors. New categories, new features, and TV shows that leave one platform to end up on another, compelling viewers to add yet one more subscription to an already crowded list, in order to finish watching their show. 

So the question everyone seems to be asking is, “will they continue to launch new TV platforms?” And I think they will. Streaming services have become so popular and successful in the last decade that a lot of big producer companies are launching their own where they can distribute their productions. This is the case with Disney and Paramount. 

Some will say that consumers are putting a stop to this madness. A lot of people have reported that adding all of their streaming subscriptions together rounds up to about $50, and this only includes 5 of the biggest platforms. Almost as much as they were paying for cable TV. This seems to be discouraging consumers from trying new services and even sticking with the old ones. However, while many TV platforms are experiencing a decrease in subscribers, it is not likely to be enough to stop the trend. Viewers have become accustomed to the freedom and the comfort that comes with choosing what they want to watch when they want to watch it, without those annoying 10-minute commercial breaks. 

So how many streaming services are too many? For once, this service was only ever meant to bring satisfaction and comfort. So if the options or the expenses are stressing you out, you can always jump from one to another depending on what you feel like each month. I highly doubt that we will ever go back to cable TV only, it just is not the same service. I think that after the fever passes, most of us will be happy with 4 or 5 services, maybe adding a 6th to the mix on special occasions, or when a new one comes out. Because they will keep coming out, and we will keep finding new alternatives, competing against each other to bring the best service possible at the best price. 

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