Michael Luisi on Streaming Services & Netflix’s Upcoming Competitors:
Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Crave
At the beginning of the new millennium, the concept of a video streaming service, able to provide HD-quality video with little to no interruptions from an expansive library seemed more like a concept out of science fiction than a plausible reality. All the same, online video rapidly evolved, going from a clunky and novel addition on websites to a fully-fledged industry that is still growing at a blistering pace today. Nowadays, the consumer has a considerable amount of choice with regards to which streaming service or services they subscribe to, and, most importantly, what content they choose to watch.
According to Santa Monica based film producer, Michael Luisi, the first company that comes to mind from the word ‘streaming’ is Netflix: It is the most successful streaming platform, having become not only a household name, but integrated into modern society. Michael Luisi has an overview of Netflix and its competitors.
There’s a reason why Netflix is the platform of choice in many households when it comes to watching video content. With a user interface that is more intuitive than ever, having been refined for almost a decade, it’s easy to jump from one show to the next. Advanced algorithms now exist that can suggest content more quickly and accurately than humans, keeping users watching.
Sealing the deal is Netflix’s competitive pricing platform, a cheap monthly fee; supplementing this is its sturdy server system, which actively adjusts to a user’s internet connection in order to minimize interruptions in video playback.
Past streaming services have tried to compete with Netflix, such as ‘Shomi’ and ‘Yahoo! View’, and in turn Netflix has seen them go out of business entirely. The following are 3 streaming services that intend to be legitimate competition, each with their own business strategies.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon has seen just as much success and dominance in the delivery industry as Netflix has seen in streaming. Recently, however, they have launched a streaming service of their own, ‘Amazon Prime Video’, and its younger comparative age compared to its predecessor inevitably means less content for viewers to watch. That being said, what Amazon lacks in sheer content they have made up for with alternative strategies.
Amazon Prime Video is offered as part of an Amazon Prime membership, the latter being a premium delivery service with an annual fee, promising free express shipping for a wide selection of Amazon products. What this means is that consumers are getting two services for the price of one, all the while at a comparative price to Netflix’s monthly fees.
A newcomer to the streaming industry, Disney+ intends to start out strong. Having previously provided their content to streaming services such as Netflix, Disney is now in the process of pulling out from all third parties; the final destination of Disney’s content is now back in their hands. Exclusivity is the name of the game here, and only time will tell if the immense popularity of Disney’s content will be enough to win over consumers.
Disney+ threatens to shift the balance of streaming services. Whereas for the average consumer, it’s easy to justify having subscriptions to both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video due to the latter including a premium delivery service, it’s questionable to add the cost of a third, especially when it is streaming only. An emphasis on exclusivity for one platform also puts pressure on the others to follow suit, and if consumers are forced to settle with only having some of their favorite content, they may become turned off to streaming entirely.
A Canadian streaming service, Crave represents a second effort on behalf of the country after the Canadian service Shomi went bankrupt, largely in part due to Netflix’s success. Much like Disney+, Crave is prioritizing exclusivity, though it’s admittedly in a wider lens compared to the former.
Having made a partnership with companies such as HBO and Showtime, one of Crave’s primary goals is to deliver the content from these American companies to Canadians, and currently it’s the only means by which to do so. While this does mean that there is a more uneven spread of movies to television compared to Netflix, Michael Luisi states it also means that some of the most popular shows are available exclusively on Crave; HBO and Showtime have been no stranger to success.
Michael Luisi is committed to delivering premium content, having been a producer for over 40 past productions, with several more currently in development.