Streaming services continue to flourish with new platforms joining the fray at a relatively regular rate, and that has potentially contributed to consumers making a startling move. Piracy is on the rise. The news comes via a new study that has revealed that following years of a downturn, piracy's numbers are trending upward. You may be wondering what exactly one has to do with another and there is an explanation.
First, the research comes to us from Sandvine's report on Global Internet Phenomena. The theory behind what the data reveals is that with Netflix and other streaming services launching exclusive deals for content, it has forced potential customers to subscribe to multiple platforms to get all of the content they want, and that is obviously cost-prohibitive. To explain the theoretical aftermath, here is an analogy.
Rather than order a meal from every restaurant, some consumers have paid for their meal at a few and then dined and dashed for the rest. That is the analogical form of what Sandvine's Cam Cullen put forward as one of the possibilities to explain the piracy stat in his report. With so many streaming platforms rising to the fore, it means that subscribers are having to sign up for three services and beyond to watch all the shows they want. Or decide to stop watching, cutting the cord completely.
The more streaming service subscribers have to sign up for, the higher the expense cord cutters face in attempting to hinder the issue that made streaming so appealing in the first place -- cutting the cost of cable. Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, arguably the big three of streaming, are now being faced with ever-growing competition, and subscribers are getting caught in the middle, while their wallets are crunched.
The question that follows is whether the streamers, faced with so much competition, will lower their prices to stave off the threat of piracy. Considering the current cost of the streaming platforms, Wal-Mart has reportedly considered entering the world of streaming to offer consumers a more affordable option.
The issue facing streaming services is similar to the one that faced the music industry years ago. Listeners do not want to buy an entire album of songs when they only want to listen to two or three. How streaming platforms move forward will be intriguing to watch. They have revolutionized the way people consume television content. Time will tell how they respond to the uptick in piracy and if they do anything at all.
The good news for Netflix is that the study also reveals that the streaming giant is still a giant, accounting for 15% of all the downstream internet data that is devoured. On that note, Netflix is gearing up for a massive fall with a lot of new television content set to bow this fall on the popular platform, and it is not the only one.