Streamers Subscription Strategy; Staying Solvent

Continuing the discussion from Beavis and Butt-head Do the Universe, new movie out June 23:

Our plan is to Subscribe to many of the lesser ones for only 2 months a year.

We do Prime and HBOMax year round, Netflix for 6-7 months, we’re still on the original $4/month pre-live plan for Disney+.

Prime is so much more for us than just the streaming. We’re heavy users of Prime Delivery.

HBOMax is just that good (for us) and we have a discount via our phone service at least.

Netflix is great, but too expensive, it was our original streamer of course and for years it was year round. Now I save 4-5 months of payments each year.

Disney+ has been great at $4 a month. That ends in a few months. I think it will then fall into a 2-3 month per year category.

We plan to cycle through for about 2 months per
Paramount {Star Trek Strange New Worlds}
Peacock {Resident Alien}
Acorn {Murdoch Mysteries}
Hulu {What We Do in the Shadows, The Orville}
Apple {Ted Lasso}

I’m hoping there will be a better Hulu/Disney+ deal eventually as I hate the Hulu cheapy service. Too many repetitive commercials.

It is shocking how many of these streaming platforms have essentially predicated their success on the popularity of just a handful—in some cases, just one or two—programs. Netflix more or less owes its success to being the first on the scene, and while the Marvel Nextflix shows (well, at least Daredevil) and Stranger Things kept it relevant amongst the competition, most of its really high profile productions have kind of tanked because they really weren’t that good and had essentially no staying power. Amazon Prime has struggled producing good content of their own but they’ve been savvy enough to combine the streaming model with acquiring other programs (as Netflix has tried with varying success) and combining with their pay-for-play model which probably makes them the most sustainable of streaming services given peoples’ willingness to shell out $10 for a streaming purchase versus getting off the couch to put in a DVD or Blu-Ray disc (if they even still have a player). HBO has long been a purveyor of ‘premium content’ well before streaming or even box DVD sets and is essentially as big a player in entertainment as any major movie studio, but they’ve blown a lot of money on series like Game of Thrones and Westworld without any clear indication that they are successful at generating new revenue. Disney+ has such a back catalog of family friendly fair that it will always be viable despite their seemingly deliberate efforts to sink the Star Wars franchise and let Marvel Studios do whatever it will.

Pretty much everything else—Apple TV+, Paramount+ , Peacock, et cetera—are banking on a couple of successes out of a large amount of shows that nobody is really interested in. That Ted Lasso is Apple TV+ biggest hit despite blowing movie-sized budgets on the dismal Foundation and Invasion indicates that they don’t understand entertainment any better than the huge number of movie studios who have gone boom and then bust betting on one big star or franchise long after public tastes have moved on.


Nothing new here, the film content production business has always relied heavily on major hits for solvency.

TV wasn’t so reliant on hits historically (but hit shows still were quite valuable) as it operated under a somewhat different business model, but the way streaming episodic content tends to play out it functions more like movie content than traditional broadcast TV from a business perspective.