A Revolution in Entertainment Services

Gone are the days when we waited weeks and weeks just for an episode to arrive. Gone are the days when TV channels forced us into watching things they chose to telecast. Gone are the days of flipping through channels (Well, almost) as online streaming services become more and more accessible to common people, we're deviating from the Cable TV Networks, and for the good, with the choices right in your hands, why would you force yourself to watch something?

YouTube, in my opinion, is what started this revolution many many years ago. As YouTube grew popular, more and more people realized that online streaming is the future. But Netflix is what truly revolutionized everything. Netflix is a company that began as an online DVD rental service back in 1998, and it has come a long long way. They transformed themselves from a DVD rental company to the most popular online streaming service in the entire world, and it hasn't been a smooth ride for Netflix in any way, and probably it isn't even going to be. Netflix has a simple model; they make shows and movies exclusive to their streaming platform along with popular copyright content. They offer you a range of their "original" shows like Stranger Things, Narcos, Black Mirror, Mindhunter etcetera. All these shows are quite popular, and the world just can't stop talking about them. Not just Hollywood, they have also revolutionized Indian shows with shows like Sacred Games and Ghoul. There's going to be something for everyone, no matter what you want to watch and when you wanna watch it. Quality content, convenience, and entertainment are probably the three qualities that sum up online streaming perfectly.

Now, when you're doing something this big, with such a simple model, a lot of other companies are gonna notice it and would like to float their boats in the flow of your success. One such example of this would be Amazon, the biggest e-commerce website in the world. When you're as successful and profitable as Amazon, launching an online streaming service isn't too big of a deal for you, because you know the market is hot and the competition is less, and as a result, we have Amazon Prime. The model of Amazon Prime is same as Netflix, fundamentally, but their selling point is that it's much much cheaper. Now Amazon Prime doesn't come with just streaming video services, it comes packed with faster deliveries from Amazon and Prime Music. It's a win-win situation. Of course, the shortcoming of Amazon Prime would be that it offers lesser content than Netflix, but when you compare the prices and the incentives Amazon offers with it, you honestly don't have much to complain about.

The competition is only going to be tough in the coming days, as Youtube and Disney are also in line to introduce their own paid online streaming services and there's just no way these two won't be a hit considering that YouTube is currently the biggest video streaming platform on our planet, and Disney is one of the biggest diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate. Anyway, as a consumer, we have many options to explore; even better ones than we have currently perhaps. Living in a century where our whole world revolves around our smartphones and laptops, and TVs are on a path of becoming obsolete a little more day by day, it makes complete sense. Of course, the more streaming services you opt for, the more you'll have to pay, and at the end, it's going to come down to our preference and taste. There's gonna be sweet quality and content variety to price ratio that will help you make your own decision for you, as to what you wanna watch and on which platform you wanna watch it.

A frequently asked question in recent times is how the online streaming services are gonna stand against the actual theatrical experience? Can they even? Would a day come when movies are released directly to your streaming service and not in a theatre? In my opinion, no. Although it's completely subjective if you'd like watching a newly released movie on your streaming platform or in a theatre, I think we can all agree on one thing that it cannot match the theatrical experience. It sure would be way more convenient, though. Plus, most of the big production houses invest hundreds of millions of dollars in their movies these days, and after all, movies are nothing but business platforms. Movies are products which production houses sell us, and releasing them online, on streaming services is hardly gonna make them any profit. After all, Isn't that why they exist? Profit? They make profit(most of the times), and we get entertainment, sometimes disappointment too, but let's not talk about it. Let's be focused on the positive side of the coin; Theatrical experience and online streaming can co-exist. But online streaming and TV cable networks cannot. Why? you'd think. Tell me, would you wait till the weekend to watch a movie you like at specifically 9pm, with advertisements in between interrupting your experience, or would you just take your phone/laptop out and hit play, and enjoy your movie without any interruption, also with the superpower to pause it and resume it, literally whenever you feel like? I guess not. You also get products like Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick etc, to give you the same experience on your TV screens, and you get rid of cable network once and for all, and for good.

It's not all rainbows and sunshine, although it might sound like it. As of 30 September 2018, Netflix is in $12 Billion debt(according to CNBC). A company like Amazon doesn't have to depend on profits from their online streaming services, because they are ‘Amazon’, but Netflix does. The good thing is that it isn't stopping them from making new quality content and investing in new things. The company is sure that the debt is nothing but a little hurdle they'll cross soon, and they might, considering how hot the market is right now. Patience and quality content, and right marketing is what they need, and they've got it all. A little relaxation in the monthly/yearly prices might help them attract more customers, but considering the debt, I don't think it'll be a very wise choice for them. Bottom line is, the future of online streaming looks bright and bloomy, and soon we'll be having more options to choose from. Entertainment is getting redefined and we as a consumer are finally getting what we've deserved all along.