Cord-cutting is officially the way of the future: streaming video consumer spending is projected to increase by 29% in 2020 alone, and the Streaming Wars will escalate and accelerate because of it.
Variety reported this news, citing the Consumer and Technology Association’s forecast. Based upon the CTA’s projections, consumer spending on streaming will hit $24.1 billion this year.
So, what are the takeaways from this upcoming development?
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Cord-cutting: Multiple streaming services > pay TV subscriptions
The cost of pay TV has perpetually escalated over time. It’s likely consumers will pay near the same amount for the multitudinous streaming services. However, based on the CTA forecast, consumers won’t mind that at all.
This is simply where home entertainment is headed. Consumers appear ready to embrace that fully.
Outsiders I’ve talked to seem confused by all the new streaming services flooding the market. It’s a bit overwhelming at the minute, and some are hesitant as to where to put their money for monthly subscription fees.
Based on the CTA’s projections, it would appear enough consumers are willing to spend everywhere. That’s a lot to keep track of, but having so many options so readily available creates maximum convenience, which is the way of the world in the modern digital era.
Streaming Wars newcomers’ spending will pay off
It’s no secret the new players in the streaming market have been extremely aggressive.
Apple TV+ opted to invest in original series programming. Disney+ is leaning on its back catalog for the most part. Peacock and HBO Max, though, will do both and have paid massive premiums for iconic preexisting IPs.
Netflix established this precedent as it pioneered the streaming movement. No one puts out more original content than the O.G. streamer, and Amazon Prime Video has plenty of spending power to compete. That’s key, because these new streamers are outbidding for preexisting shows and movies.
Although many streaming services will be in the red for a while, it seems consumers will largely offset those costs over time if this CTA forecast holds true moving forward.
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An exciting new frontier, or streaming oversaturation?
The crazy thing is: due to this consumer spending increase, the race to snap up content and create it won’t abate. It’ll only escalate further, and subscribers will have increasingly unprecedented amounts of content.
While this is exciting for storytellers and increases the prospects of diversity in the entertainment industry, there is one danger. Everything could be watered down, as there may be a greater quantity of content, but quality will suffer.
At least for now, though, streamers will err on the side of quantity — for better or worse.