NBCUniversal became the most recent of the mega-media companies to launch a streaming media service. There are already a number in the United States, some of which, like Netflix, are over a decade old. Many, including Netflix and Amazon Prime, are parts of companies with very deep pockets, deep enough to produce their own programming that competes with productions out of Hollywood studios.
But Tuesday’s announcement from Netflix that the company will raise its most popular subscription plan from $11 to $13 a month may present an opportunity for NBCUniversal to push its free, ad-supported service as a viable alternative. Netflix’s pending loss of Disney programming as the Mouse House launches its own streaming service is expected to have an impact on the market leader as well.
NBCUniversal also has the advantage of a huge library of video programming. This includes DreamWorks, Universal Studios, NBC News, NBC Sports, and over two dozen other movie, cable, and sports outlets.
As NBCUniversal announced the launch, management said:
This innovative new service will draw on NBCUniversal’s large content library, as well as its broad reach of over 90 million U.S. households, plus Comcast and Sky’s leading technology platforms. It will feature some of the world’s most popular television and film franchises, including homegrown original programming as well as content from outside partners.
Unlike many streaming services, Amazon, Netflix and Hulu for example, the service will be supported by advertising, which means there is no price barrier to users. The company also said that 52 million Comcast Cable and Sky customers will have access to the service.
In addition to Disney’s entry in the streaming wars, AT&T’s WarnerMedia is planning to join the fray this year. But with the following 10 large competing services are already in place, prying market share from consumers who watch streaming media will be difficult.
These are the top 10, according to Parks Associates:
- Prime Video Users (Amazon Prime)
- Hulu (SVOD)
- HBO Now
- CBS All Access
- Sling TV
- DIRECTV Now