Too many streaming services leading to resurgence in piracy

Ronald Epstein

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Absolutely.

This part of the article says it all...

The problem: consumers only have so much disposable income, and the growing laundry-list of services users now need to subscribe to if they want to watch all of their favorite movies and shows can not only become confusing, but prohibitively expensive.
All the studios want a piece of the pie. However, they have made it impossible for consumers to have an all-in-one place to watch their favorite shows. Meanwhile, shows and movies are being pulled off of existing services like Netflix to make way for new exclusive services.

In all, it is much cheaper just to pirate. Mind you, I am not condoning the practice, but I can thoroughly see why piracy continues to increase.
 

Cranston37

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This part of the article says it all...

The problem: consumers only have so much disposable income, and the growing laundry-list of services users now need to subscribe to if they want to watch all of their favorite movies and shows can not only become confusing, but prohibitively expensive.
My biggest gripe with it is that consumers are not smart enough to figure out that once they subscribe to something, they don't need to stay subscribed to it. Just pick 1 or 2 different ones a month for heaven's sake. Some platforms like Apple TV make switching take about 5 seconds...
 
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dpippel

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My biggest gripe with it is that consumers are not smart enough to figure out that once they subscribe to something, they don't need to stay subscribed to it. Just pick 1 or 2 different ones a month for heaven's sake. Some platforms like Apple TV make switching take about 5 seconds...
It makes one wonder how most consumers are able to figure out how to pirate something.
 

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My daughter put us on her Netflix account so we do occasionally watch it, but 90% of our TV watching is still via Cable. We get 50 bazillion channels for one price and they are all together at the flip of a button to PVR.

If something is an exclusive to a service we don’t get, we watch something else! If we really want to pursue it, we just wait until our library buys the discs or it shows up on regular cable. (We had a special of the first season of Game of Thrones — which I tried because of all the hype, and didn’t like at all).

Really, with such a gigantic amount of choices out there, that we can’t keep up with, we can afford to ignore all streaming content and still be overwhelmed.
 
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Cranston37

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This the problem Apple is trying to fix with the upcoming Apple Channels.

When Ron said "All the studios want a piece of the pie. However, they have made it impossible for consumers to have an all-in-one place to watch their favorite shows," Apple TV and Channels is exactly what that will be. One place to subscribe and watch.

It's what led to the iPod and iTunes Store being born, after all.
 
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Adam Lenhardt

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My plan had been to stick to two streaming services: Netflix year-round, and then rotating between the other services as the content I'm interested in drops.

However, right now I'm up to three: Netflix, Prime, and HBO Now. I haven't been able to drop Prime because I haven't had time to get through my backlog of stuff I'm interested in. With HBO, I'm planning on cancelling as soon as "Game of Thrones" ends, lest I get sucked into something else that keeps me subscribing.

This summer I'll be adding Hulu, for the "Veronica Mars" revival. And in the fall I'll be adding Disney+ for the MCU tie-in series and "The Mandalorian". Hopefully I'll be done with Hulu by that point.

I really wanted to check out "The Twilight Zone" revival, but CBS All Access is just one streaming service too many, and I don't have time to watch all of the stuff I want to on the services I already subscribe to.

This the problem Apple is trying to fix with the upcoming Apple Channels.

When Ron said "All the studios want a piece of the pie. However, they have made it impossible for consumers to have an all-in-one place to watch their favorite shows," Apple TV and Channels is exactly what that will be. One place to subscribe and watch.
All Apple Channels does, though, is bundle all of your subscriptions into one monthly invoice. It adds a modicum of convenience, but it doesn't address the cost issue.

If anything, it will exacerbate the cost issue, since Apple is charging a steep percentage of the subscription cost to be part of Apple Channels. Since the streaming services can't charge more if you subscribe through Apple Channels, they'll probably raise the subscription costs on everybody (regardless of subscription method) to cover Apple's fees.

And because Apple's percentage is so steep, some of the major services like Netflix are opting not to participate. So that gets us back where we started.
 

Cranston37

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All Apple Channels does, though, is bundle all of your subscriptions into one monthly invoice. It adds a modicum of convenience, but it doesn't address the cost issue.
The post that I quoted was regarding needing "an all-in-one place to watch your favorite shows."

That is the only problem I said Apple TV and Channels was trying to fix. I didn't say anything about billing or cost. But on t

If anything, it will exacerbate the cost issue, since Apple is charging a steep percentage of the subscription cost to be part of Apple Channels. Since the streaming services can't charge more if you subscribe through Apple Channels, they'll probably raise the subscription costs on everybody (regardless of subscription method) to cover Apple's fees.

And because Apple's percentage is so steep, some of the major services like Netflix are opting not to participate. So that gets us back where we started.
Not a good day for that post because Apple Channels was released today and I can confirm prices are not higher.
 
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Worth

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My biggest gripe with it is that consumers are not smart enough to figure out that once they subscribe to something, they don't need to stay subscribed to it. Just pick 1 or 2 different ones a month for heaven's sake. Some platforms like Apple TV make switching take about 5 seconds...
I have a feeling there's going to be a crackdown on this soon, so you can't just subscribe for a month, drop it for a while and resume - something like a 6 month minimum. And also on password sharing.
 
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Worth

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I really wish the studios had banded together to create an all-in-one streaming service, possibly in conjunction with Netflix, as it already had such an established base. Of course, corporate greed being what it is, it was never going to happen.
 

Malcolm R

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I have a feeling there's going to be a crackdown on this soon, so you can't just subscribe for a month, drop it for a while and resume - something like a 6 month minimum.
I think that would just further drive people to "alternate" means of obtaining the content.
 

Cranston37

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I think that would just further drive people to "alternate" means of obtaining the content.
Exactly. Which was the point of this thread in the first place.
 
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Steve Y

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Apple Channels is fine and good, and will have more content than anyone will ever need, but consumers who want the exclusive programming on Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, CBS, Criterion, etc, have to think about what services they want to drop (or re-up) every single pay period. It's a hassle, and I'm still not convinced it's going to be much less than Cable TV once the dust clears.
 

DaveF

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This is in the “interesting, if true” category of articles. It has one statistic: file sharing on bit torrent has increased. After that, everything else it says is made without any actual supporting data, just assertions of what they want the answer to be.

Or, confusing correlation with causation.

So maybe, could be, seems plausible. Would be nice if their article was supported by data and not just assertions and appeal to correlation.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I'm not really convinced that piracy has really gone down much in the first place. Maybe there's a little less bit torrent downloading going on, but that probably has more to do with the easy availability and use of hacked Kodi boxes and Amazon Fire Sticks and the like which will allow you to view pirated content without ever having to download it locally.

I still believe that the greatest battle that any rightsholder / studio / network has to face is not whether or not their audience watches their content on one platform vs. another (for instance, on disc or streaming) but rather, whether their audience is paying for the content at all or pirating it. As long as the paid methods put users through more hoops than the piracy methods, and as long as people in general refuse to equate bootlegging with stealing in the way they'd equate walking out of Best Buy with a disc you didn't pay for as stealing, that will remain the great battle.
 
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TJPC

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I am not talking about piracy for profit, but library building. Can you copy programs from streaming? I have DVD recorders and have built a personal library of movies and TV shows from my cable feed. This is legal here. Is it prohibited from streams, or even allowed?
 

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I am not talking about piracy for profit, but library building. Can you copy programs from streaming? I have DVD recorders and have built a personal library of movies and TV shows from my cable feed. This is legal here. Is it prohibited from streams, or even allowed?
In the U.S. it is illegal to capture and save copyrighted content from streaming services. That's why Amazon, for example, has one price for streaming and another for dl for some movies.

I am not a lawyer and this is my understanding. There is the fair use law that allows people to record off the air for their own personal delayed viewing as long as the files are not shared but I don't think that applies to streaming services. Perhaps someone with a legal background can weigh in.

ADDED: You got me curious so I looked it up. Best article I've found https://www.consumerreports.org/consumerist/you-can-record-movies-off-netflix-or-music-off-spotify-but-youre-not-allowed-to/
 
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John*Wells

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I have too many streaming services at the moment. However, with the news that Cobra Kai is going to be ad based, I can cancel YouTube premium. I subscribed to Hulu because it provides a way to watch shows latest episodes. However with Disney now in the majority, they’ll eventually phase Hulu into their service. (And besides there’s not much first run tv that I like anymore. Cancel. I subscribed to cbs all access for the Star Trek content. But I’m not overly impressed with the rest of it. Cancel. I get amazon video because I’m a prime member. I have had Netflix since 2008 and it’s content is ok so I’ll keep it.
 

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I have Netflix and HBO. Because of the volume of content I watch from those they both require year-round subscriptions for me. I also have Prime, but their content is just a bonus for me. I mainly pay for the two-day/same day shipping because I buy quite a bit from Amazon throughout the year. I am interested in CBS All Access because of Star Trek Discovery and now Twilight Zone. My strategy will be to subscribe for one month and binge both seasons, then cancel until next year and repeat the process. I plan on doing this with every service or channel that only has one or two shows I am interested in. The only downside to doing it this way is waiting for the season to be over, but it’s not too big a deal.
 

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