Meeting TV programming needs and desires by assembling OTT services is now almost more expensive than paying a monthly bill for traditional pay TV, New York Post columnist Johnny Oleksinski is the latest to conclude.
In his column headlined “Streaming TV is getting as bad as cable,” Olekinski noted that combined subscriptions to HBO Now, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Netflix are taking a surprising toll on his bottom line.
“Home entertainment is really starting to add up. Want to watch ‘The Crown,’ ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘Transparent,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Homeland’? Prepare to drop $51 a month—minimum. And that number doesn’t even include your internet package or basic options such as Food Network, Travel Channel and Syfy.”
Gone, he said, is the cachet of cord-cutting, when a follower of the “Church of Netflix” was considered “practical and forward-thinking,” spending $8 a month for TV instead of $100.
“At first, you were right,” Oleksinski said. “Netflix was a killer deal: an inexpensive trove of TV shows, movies, and burgeoning original content that made for a perfect couple of hours vegging out after work. Taken on its own, it still is.
“But the same people who hate corporate oppression love prestige programming,” he added. “And in the past three years, every major streaming service has added to its roster at least one must-watch show for the culturati.”
And the disaggregation is getting worse, not better, the columnist noted.
Not only are OTT platforms like Netflix becoming more powerful audience drivers—Oleksinski mentioned Netflix's poaching of producer Shonda Rhimes from Disney/ABC this week—he said he’ll likely have to tack on a $5.99-a-month CBS All Access bill when the long-anticipated “Star Trek: Discovery” premieres in September.
And don’t forget all the parents who have to shell out for Disney’s just-announced OTT efforts. With Disney eschewing a distribution future with Netflix, many parents will be paying yet another monthly subscription.
“You could hear the sound of millions of Moana dolls being hurled at walls across America,” Oleksinski said of the Netflix announcement.