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OP-ED: Streaming services, the future of television

I am terrible at binge-watching because there’s too much to watch on television, but I still love to have options; the new streaming services rolling out over the next few years will only add to my inability to choose what to watch.

With the dawn of a new era coming through streaming television and movies, the creation of new and more diverse television shows is exciting to me. I am most excited for Disney+, Disney’s new service mostly dedicated to creating new MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) content. Among the host of new shows, including The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, Loki, Hawkeye, the one I am most excited for is a reboot of the Lizzie McGuire show, featuring an older Lizzie McGuire navigating the world as an adult.

The problem is that each streaming service has a show, or multiple shows, I want to watch. Apple TV+, dropping this November, has Dickinson, a reimagining of Emily Dickinson’s life as portrayed by Hailee Steinfeld. There’s also a show aptly named The Morning Show, with competitive morning show hosts played by Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carrell. HBO Max, coming in 2020, is more secretive with its offerings, but one project of note is Love Life, a romantic anthology series starring Anna Kendrick.

The final streaming service of interest is NBCUniversal, a combination between studios that will house the infamous show, The Office after 2021. Keep in mind, these are only the newer services: there’s still the longer standing ones, such as Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix, that will still release new content well past the creation of the newer services. 

With all the content coming forth in the next few years, what will happen to Netflix, arguably the first streaming service to offer both old and original content? Netflix’s streaming created entire colloquialisms still used today, such as binge-watching and “Netflix and chill.” With it being the first, there is cause for concern that the now open market of streaming will take away from its potential buyers, especially since Netflix is making buyers pay the most. The CEO is adamant that Netflix will still do well despite competition, but I’m not as sure. Netflix is beginning to cancel shows many fans love, such as, One Day at A Time, and with the creation of Disney+ and NBCUniversal, shows such as Friends, The Office and all Disney movies and television shows are being removed from the service, what some would consider a draw.

Cable television, on the other hand, may have a fate worse than that of Netflix. Millions of people, myself included, are using cable television less and less and turning to streaming. The cost of all the streaming services (Disney+, seven dollars a month; AppleTV, five dollars a month; Netflix, 13 dollars a month; and NBCUniversal rumored at 12 dollars a month) could easily cost much less than a cable bill, whose channels are often included in the variant services offered. 

With everything releasing in the new decade, I wonder: where is television headed? Will there be a need for an award show dedicated to streamed television and movies only? The newness of everything is still very exciting for me and I love having more to watch, but I believe the future may be bleak for cable watchers.

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