More People Are Streaming Than Ever

Those of us with little streaming boxes, dongles, and smart TVs are no longer in an exclusive club. Digital Entertainment Group says the subscription streaming business grew by 20% in 2021, reaching $25.3 billion. This will come as no surprise to those who long ago discovered the ease of on-demand viewing and even the benefits of cable substitutes that don’t require long-term contracts and other extras.

Why are we seeing growth in streaming? In our opinion, it is because it keeps getting better. While some may say that companies pulling content to their own services is somehow recreating the cable model we see it a different way. It is making it easier to find content. Services are coming more into focus by either pulling the programming that they own into one place or by further focussing on the type of content they feature. Discovery+ has been a perfect example of this. It answers the question “Where can I watch my favorite reality shows”. That might not be a question on your lips and that’s all good. It takes all types.  But having a service emerge that gives users an obvious portal for certain types of content makes it easy for people looking for new options to find them. You no longer have to say “oh if you sign up for this bundle you get all these channels that have the shows you want”.

Disney+ gets heat for being so married to Marvel and Star Wars but the two brands have millions of fans who know exactly where to find their favorite movies and now they can follow along as their respective universes expand on the small screen with stories that influence what happens on the big screen. Netflix was forced to go all-in on original content and the result has been that it has become the leader in the field.

No. Every streamer out there will not sign up for every service. And there is going to be churn on services as people check out certain things and cancel when they are done. But these apps know what they are doing, and by charging less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks for many services they are easy to miss and easy enough to keep around for that new thing that is going to come out in a few weeks. Disney basically built that into the service. Oh I’m gonna cancel as soon as the Mandalorian is done, oh that Loki show looks interesting. I’m gonna probably cancel after Loki, Hey wait a second that “What If” show looks like fun, and so on.

So scream that it is getting worse than cable all you want. It is getting more popular.