Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Is There Too Much Streaming Content?

Netflix has around sixty shows and movies which have been produced by the streaming service to date. Today Netflix announced a litany of more shows and movies coming to the online service. Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, just to name a few, are the new normal in producing online viewing material. Netflix kicked things off with the truly masterful series, House of Cards and hasn’t looked backed. Not everything has been a hit, but enough has been stellar to keep people watching. With the streaming services adding more and more content it gives the viewers more and more options, but it also increases the chances of things being bad, and then devaluing the brand of the services overall.

When House of Cards came out and became a major hit it announced Netflix as a player in the television market. It changed the game. With Orange as the New Black and numerous other series and films they have proven they produce high quality entertainment. The same can be said of Amazon and the shows they have produced. Hulu is newer to the game and has adopted a different more traditional model in how they release their content. All television and movie studios have hits or misses and consumers base on what they watch by trailers and buzz around the shows. With so much content coming out it will be hard to pick the good from the bad, or even get to everything coming out. Then you have to add all the regular content on television. This means with so many choices consumers are going to go to services with the best track record for providing the best content.

Is more necessarily better? If Netflix and other services put out more and more content, but the quality goes down it could eventually hurt their business. There are so many options having fewer shows, but the highest quality might be a safer bet. HBO doesn’t produce a vast amount of shows, but the ones they do are usually of high quality. They have had their misses, but HBO usually adopts a practice of producing a few shows which are viewed in the highest regard. If HBO says they are coming out with a new show, it is usually something you want to tune in for.

The major streaming services coming out with more and more content is great for content creators, but it also means their content is harder to find. If a show is truly exceptional word of mouth will spread for it. Stranger Things is an excellent example of this. Netflix didn’t promote the show heavily, but it took off because everyone was talking about it. Great shows will rise to the top, but people are more willing to keep coming back to the service or network if the quality of the content is always high. Giving Adam Sandler a three picture movie deal to have him produce crappy films with his friends doesn’t promote quality. If there isn’t a high standard adhered to about what is produced, then people will be less likely to seek out the shows on the services, and the good shows on the service might get missed. This will force good content creators to seek out the networks or services with good shows, because they know consumers watch.

The amount of content on the streaming services will likely continue to increase over the next few years until there is an overload reached. Once this happens the services will start to cut back and a balance will be reached eventually. The streaming content still has to contend with the shows coming out on network and cable television, and there is still great content from traditional sources. With the advent of the streaming services and the way people are cutting cords networks have to step up their game as well and look to produce more and more quality content. This of course is always good for the consumers, I just worry Netflix and other services are starting to overreach on what they are starting to produce. 

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