Poor Netflix. Everyone in the media business seems to be going after the streaming company by launching their own service. Last year, we saw a number of niche players, like DC Universe and Epix Now, hit the market. Over the next twelve months, we’re going to see true giants in the industry launch streaming services based on their own content catalogs.
To help you start planning which streaming subscriptions to keep and which to cancel, Flixed has reviewed six of the biggest newcomers in the streaming business.
Earlier this year, details finally emerged about Disney’s upcoming streaming service, Disney+. The new subscription-based service will feature family-friendly content from the company’s many studios. Besides nearly a century of Disney animation, Disney+ will be the home to content produced by Pixar and National Geographic. You will also be able to watch every movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars franchise.
When does it launch: November 12, 2019
Where does it launch: United States with global expansion by 2021.
How much will it cost: $7 per month in the US.
What content will it have: In addition to content from Disney’s various assets, Disney+ will release 25 original series and 10 original feature-length titles within its first year.
What else should I know: Disney-owned Fox will contribute all episodes of The Simpsons and family-friendly movies like The Princess Bride.
Apple has had an on-again-off-again approach to original content. However, with hardware sales slowing, Apple sees streaming services as the key to future growth. Earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook provided a sneak-peak at Apple TV+. The new service will focus on original content rather than competing with Netflix’s huge catalog.
When does it launch: Fall 2019
Where does it launch: United States with global expansion.
How much will it cost: Apple isn’t saying.
What content will it have: A who’s who of Hollywood celebrities are producing content for Apple+. Steven Spielberg will produce science fiction anthology series Amazing Stories and Oprah Winfrey will produce documentaries. Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon will star in a series about a morning news show and Jason Momoa has been cast in a scifi epic.
What else should I know: According to The Verge, the Apple TV app will no longer be Apple-exclusive. Apps are in development for Roku as well as smart TVs from Samsung and other brands.
AT&T’s New Streaming Service
AT&T purchased Warner Bros., Turner and HBO last year in hopes that content production will help it survive the wave of cord cutting that has decimated its pay-TV business. The telecom giant’s new WarnerMedia subsidiary has a huge back catalog of content that will anchor the company’s upcoming and unnamed streaming service.
When does it launch: Q4 2019
Where does it launch: United States
How much will it cost: Unclear. According to PC Magazine, AT&T executives said it will be priced higher than HBO Now’s $15 per month. However, Deadline reported that AT&T will have Hulu-like ad-supported pricing and premium, ad-free pricing.
What content will it have: Also unclear, but will draw heavily from Warner Bros. and HBO.
What else should I know: AT&T is planning a three-tiered service. At the entry level, you get mid-grade movies. Step up to the middle tier and you get better movies and original content. At the highest tier, you get the best movies from the Warner and Turner archives.
Viacom’s Revamped Pluto TV
Pluto TV made a name for itself by offering a free, streaming version of the cable experience. “Free” is also the reason why media giant Viacom bought Pluto TV in early 2019. Viacom has already started Pluto TV’s transformation into a new kind of streaming service.
When does it launch: Changes are rolling out now.
Where does it launch: United States with global expansion starting in Latin America.
How much will it cost: Free because of the ads.
What content will it have: The ad-supported TV channels will feature content from MTV, Nickelodeon, BET and Comedy Central as well as Viacom’s film catalog. However, none of the content will be original or less than 18 months old. The freshest content will air first on Viacom’s cable channels.
What else should I know: According to Adweek, Viacom will create “pop-up channels” to promote new shows on its cable channels.
Discovery’s BBC-based Streaming Service
Last month, Discovery and the BBC announced they will create a new way to stream fact-based content. The deal includes “hundreds of hours” of BBC documentaries and the companies will co-develop new, original content.
When does it launch: By 2020.
Where does it launch: Worldwide except in the UK, Ireland and China. The BBC retains all rights for those markets.
How much will it cost: Unspecified, but insiders told Variety it would be “under $5”.
What content will it have: Nature documentaries like Blue Planet, history series like Dynasties and science series like Walking With Dinosaurs.
What else should I know: BBC News was told this ten-year, $390 million deal will let the BBC produce more science and nature content for its domestic television license fee payers.
NBCUniversal’s New Streaming Service
Eight years ago, Comcast bought NBCUniversal for much the same reason AT&T bought Time Warner. The cable company has suffered the same subscriber losses due to cord cutting and now wants to make NBCUniversal the cornerstone of a new direct-to-consumer streaming service.
When does it launch: Early 2020
Where does it launch: United States and then globally through Sky
How much will it cost: Free to some, but not to others.
What content will it have: Unclear, but NBCUniversal’s TV channels include Syfy, Bravo, Oxygen, USA in addition to NBC itself. The company’s movie arm is Universal Studios which also distributes content for Dreamworks, Amblin Partners and United International Pictures.
What else should I know: This will be a very cable-centric player, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Comcast will give the ad-supported service free to its subscribers and those of any other cable company it partners with. Cord cutters will have to pay a monthly fee.
Chris Casper is a former tech industry product manager who escaped from California for New Mexico. Now he writes about science and tech while searching for the perfect green chile sauce.