Why We Will Never Have a Unified Streaming Service

Technology is moving towards the world of streaming. With every streaming service vying to come out on top of the streaming war, the future is uncertain for many companies that currently offer these services. For many people, a single streaming service that offers every movie, show, and video would be a dream come true. However, due to competing companies unwilling to relinquish their corners of the market, this is unable to happen.

Big Money is Involved

Streaming is one of the most popular ways to tune in to media — research has found that nearly 2/3 of the global population watches some form of VOD programming. Though VOD has actually existed for well over a decade now, its popularity has surged significantly within just the last several years. On average, Americans watch 38 hours of video content per week, and roughly 39 percent of that is streamed.

Naturally, many corporations want a piece of the action. However, there are distinct distribution rights and royalty payments that must be given to the rightful copyright owners and distributors. Every time a video is streamed online, a small royalty goes to the distributor. From that, artists and actors receive an even smaller portion of the money earned. Video On Demand (VOD) has grown in popularity in recent years, and many networks and independent artists are realizing that they can make more money by starting their own streaming services. On-demand streaming generates more revenue, and whether ads are included or not also affects the income of distributors and the owners of the material.

The Power of Loyal Viewership and Listeners

Another difficulty with the prospect of a unified streaming service is that many network providers have plenty of loyal viewers who will eagerly tune into their content. Netflix and Hulu are two examples of popular streaming services that have partnered with companies like HBO to offer exclusive content. Many large YouTube stars work for themselves and are less likely to give up their power and profits to partner with large networks. Cable companies are having difficulty competing as the network providers of beloved shows and movies are removing their content to venture out on their own. Breaking free of rigid contracts and moving to more beneficial arrangements is one reason why some networks are taking dedicated viewers with them to try and strike out on their own or to forge more lucrative partnerships.

Offering Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Innovative entrepreneurs who are able to build trustworthy partnerships with power players have a tremendous opportunity to construct new streaming services. Tech-savvy companies are willing to give a higher percentage of royalties to anyone who is willing to partner with them. Big-name publishers that offer a smaller percentage of royalties are being overlooked in favor of the entrepreneurial powerhouses granting larger payments to the rightful owners of copyrighted videos and movies.

Avoiding a Monopoly

Although a unified streaming service may seem fabulous and highly convenient to consumers, it leaves the chance of a huge monopoly on the table. The fact that a single company could control and grant consumers across the world access to every type of media available paints a frightening picture for some involved in the music, movie, and technology industries.

Major Bandwidth and Security Issues

For a single streaming service to be able to host all of the music, videos, shows, and movies in the world, it would need tons of servers and incredible bandwidth, along with consistent broadband speed. If billions of people regularly log in to a single streaming service, the odds of it breaking down multiplies tremendously. In addition, security issues are likely to arise from a service that reaches billions of devices simultaneously all over the globe.

As nice as it would be to pay just one subscription fee to get all the movies and tv show episodes in just one app or website, it’s time to take your head out of the clouds. A unified streaming service will likely never appear for many different reasons. Not only does it involve the relinquishing of power and profits for many distributors, network providers, and copyright holders, but it also demands that parties collaborate in complete harmony. Although there are positive aspects for potential customers of a unified streaming service, the negative probabilities far outweigh the convenience of such a service at this point.

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