Following Comcast outbidding Disney for the purchase of Sky, a European satellite broadcaster, the next deal on the horizon seems to be a merger between CBS and Viacom. This comes hot on the heels of Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, and AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner. With traditional players in the industry bulking up to counter the rise of streaming video giants such as Netflix, Amazon, Apple, and Google, the market for original content is changing in ways that will impact business and consumers alike.
- Branded VOD Services and Rising Costs to Consumers
Fewer companies having greater control over their product, including many beloved franchises, could mean rising costs for end users wishing to access the same variety and quality of content. Disney, for example, has withdrawn from its output deal with Netflix starting with its 2019 releases, in preparation for the release of its own streaming service. With the acquisition of Fox, Disney has added the Marvel franchise to its own considerable intellectual property holdings, which include the Avengers and Star Wars. AT&T, owner of, among other properties, Game of Thrones and Harry Potter, has recently announced plans to unveil its digital streaming service in late 2019. This model, pursued more broadly, would essentially create a handful of brand-specific streaming services. This has the potential to result in higher costs for the consumers who wish to access a wide variety of content. In the years to come, the traditional cable subscription may be remembered as a bygone bargain. Continue reading