We Lose When It Comes To the Streaming TV Wars
When it comes to the streaming TV wars, we lose. At one point there was Netflix for films. And Hulu for television shows. Now how many are there? How many can you name? There's Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Apple TV+. And that doesn't even get into streaming apps put out by television networks along with cable and satellite companies.
I really started thinking about this when I read that "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" won't be on network television this year. Heck, I still wasn't used to it being on ABC. And it was on ABC for almost 20 years. I still remember watching it when I was a kid when it aired on CBS. And they'd always run that gloriously 1970's CBS Special ID with the funky music before the show started.
Yes, if you want to watch any of the Charlie Brown specials you'll need to have Apple TV+. They're graciously offering them free to everyone during some limited time windows according to an article on Fox 4's website. Yet you still have to go through the hassle of making sure you have Apple TV+ can watch the show, even if you never want to see anything else they offer.
The same thing happened to me when I wanted to watch "A West Wing Special To Benefit When We All Vote." It wasn't on HBO which I pay for. It was on the HBO Max app, which I pay for or get with my HBO subscription. First I had to figure out my cable login information. Activate something on my phone. Find and put the app on my smart television. And make sure it all worked. For a one time special I wanted to see.
We lose because it costs us time and effort to get the app up and running. And in many cases we lose because it may cost us money too. We're paying for cable. We're paying for Amazon Prime Video. We're paying for Netflix. We're paying for Hulu+. Over time it all adds up. And how much are we really watching?
The ultimate loss might be deciding you'll skip re-watching your favorite show because you're not interested in paying for a subscription to an app you'll otherwise probably never use. And with the amount of streaming apps out there, many of us are going to have to choose what apps we subscribe too, and which ones we skip.