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How many streaming services do you actually NEED?

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So, if you happened to be on the Twitters yesterday, you might have noticed #StarTrekDiscovery trending...

...not for good reasons.


Paramount decided to take it exclusive to its own platforms, both in the US and Canada... and Europe, where those platforms don't yet exist. P+ will also be exclusive to a very high-priced tier of the evil Murdoch/Sky empire in the UK, and then it's an add-on cost on top of that.


So Burnham and co got snapped off Netflix at one day's notice. There was much wailing and gnashing of targs. And much as I will miss her royal highness Grudge, First Of Her Mane, Queen Of The Space Lanes, Empress Of Hearts, And Supreme Lady Of Oh Lawd She Comin', I'm not changing ISP and shelling out for one show - or three if you count Lower Decks and the upcoming Strange New Worlds.


But it got me thinking. How many platforms do you sub to - and what shows do you consider "essential"? Would you consider cutting the cord entirely and ditching regular TV in favour of just streaming?



  • Netflix. Not been watching as much as before, considering cancelling, but they do come up with some stuff that's good.
    (There's also Red Notice, which... isn't.) I might keep it for when I start travelling again, though, since a whole bunch of new stuff unlocks outside the UK (again, thanks to Sky).
  • Amazon Prime. I get this free with my parcel deliveries, so I consider it a freebie. My partner likes it more than I do, but have been enjoying The Boys and the return of Leverage
  • Disney+: given this is the House of Mouse, I would have never expected to love it as much as I do. But the killer part of their app isn't Disney, Pixar, or even Marvel. It's Star, which has the best selection of movies and shows out of all of them bar none: including a whole bunch of FX and HBO shows (AHS, Walking Dead) and a pretty wild selection of flicks from The Favourite to Grosse Pointe Blank, plus quite a few classics. The Disney docs are  Definitely value for money.
  • Regular British TV: given the BBC is still commercial free, has reams of great content, and has built killer streaming apps on top of it (BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds for radio), I still watch it - though usually timeshifted. Channel 4 - who, along with the BBC, can claim responsibility for most of the great British films of the last three decades, also have good content and a decent streaming app, though infested with interactive commercials. 
Edited by ThaOGDreamWeaver


Look out for me as: Miss Dream Weaver (Psi/Emp), Ranger Emily (AR/Devices), Dr Amy Weaver MD (DP/Emp), Dr Regan Sprungler (Beam/Ninja), Agatha Heterodyne (Robots/Devices)


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I'm content with Netflix, and contemplated piracy of didney+ if we didn't end up getting it from a shared account originally.

Spouse, on the other hand . . . Netflix, the dp ...-lus, a'zon, a few Korean and Anime streaming services, and subscriptions to various fanfict sites.


 . . . I managed to kick my 8 account CoH habit back in 2009 or 2010, only to end up paying for my life partner's media consumption on so many different platforms.


C'est la morte.

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...and once again, I'm totally mystified as to how that Paramount-CBS Star Trek relationship works.   Last I'd been told, they'd decided that CBS would have rights to the TV shows and Paramount to the movies, hence why Paramount created the alternate Trek universe, to play in it free of CBS, and hence why CBS put Discovery on its paid channel.  Apparently that was never accurate or is no longer the case.


As to paid services, I'm really kind of baffled why we've not seen these sort out into more of a cable package service.  That's pretty much what happened in the early days of cable, I gather.  It only makes sense (to me anyway) that having umpteen individual services out there will mean that some will get left out, or will have to endure a monthly "bounce" as people like me on a budget choose to watch a different service each month remaining in a perpetual state of binge watching to get caught up with what we missed the pass few unpaid months.  I'm currently utilizing the Disney-Hulu-ESPN arrangement as it sort of resembles a cable package, and have been with it longer than I was with solo paid channels.

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Welcome to what has been the status quo in the United States since 2017.  In the States, new Star Trek has never been on Netflix, it has been exclusively on Paramount+.


  • Amazon Prime Video: Very little of quality on the service IMO, but I get it as part of Amazon Prime.
  • Apple TV+: It is easily one of the best video streaming services IMO, with quality television shows such as For All MankindFoundation, and Mythic Quest, and quality movies.
  • CuriosityStream: Good quality science and technology documentaries, and cheap.
  • Disney+: Marvel and Star Wars.  'Nuff said.
  • HBO Max: Another one of the best video streaming services IMO, with a lot of quality television shows such as Babylon 5 and Superman: The Animated Series, and a lot of quality movies.
  • Hulu with Live TV: I pay for it, but this is exclusively for my elderly parents that I live with.  They cannot fathom anything other than live television, which I personally have not watched since 2012.  I've tried breaking them into the various video streaming services, but after a couple of years, it just didn't hold.
  • Paramount+: Star Trek, 'nuff said.  It now has every single Star Trek show ever made (including The Animated Series), and all of the films.  I don't watch any of the newer stuff (as far as I'm concerned, Star Trek died in 2016), but it's nice to have everything made from 1966 through 2016 in one place.
  • Peacock: Another that I pay for, but this is exclusively for my elderly parents that I live with.  They like their wrasslin', and Peacock is now the exclusive home of the WWE.
  • YouTube Premium: I like to watch YouTube on my television, and I hate commercials.


If it were up to me and I wasn't subscribed to Amazon Prime, I'd keep Apple TV+, CuriosityStream, Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+, and YouTube Premium.  Maybe regular Hulu without the live TV.  Maybe.

Edited by Apparition
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Ah, I'd been wondering what Peacock had over the top of just the NBC stuff. My day job is running internet advertising kit. I work from the UK - so I'm locked out from even viewing Peacock's website - but the shows we work for run globally, and Peacock are buying pretty much every scrap of inventory that isn't nailed down in the US.


In the UK, Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk all offer integrated packages with some of this stuff included (or built into their TV box apps), but it seems like content owners are all preparing for a big, messy divorce from cable/satellite operators and their carriage arrangements. Disney have handled it relatively well... Paramount seem to be doing more of a bull in a china shop approach.


Look out for me as: Miss Dream Weaver (Psi/Emp), Ranger Emily (AR/Devices), Dr Amy Weaver MD (DP/Emp), Dr Regan Sprungler (Beam/Ninja), Agatha Heterodyne (Robots/Devices)


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I have Amazon Prime (as part of an AP sub, like everyone else) on which I watch a fair number of freebie movies and TV shows.  


I have a Netflix subscription TECHNICALLY, but it's only as a result of being a freebie with my cell phone plan.  I haven't actually used it yet, and I let my paid Netflix sub lapse years ago.


On a similar note, I had a Hulu subscription with my previous cell phone plan, but you know, swapped and lost it.  


The majority of my online streaming content is via Vudu, which 95% reflects actual physical movies I own and unlocked on the service.  It's easier than having to remember where I put DVDs or Blu Rays and lets me watch them on phone, PC, or tablet.  The remainder is stuff I bought on sales on Vudu, since I already had two thousand-odd other things there.


Ultimately I think the problem from the consumer's perspective is that none of the streaming services really offer much to attract $10-30 a month for a subscription to their services.  The content tends to be trite, derivative, or overtly harangue-y, rather than entertaining.  If I'm paying ten or fifteen bucks a month for what is often maybe four hours of new content it's not cost effective to do that with twenty or more streaming companies, and there's like a dozen of them I can think of just off the top of my head.  The C-suite execs all assume that they'll pull Netflix's numbers, which have always been massaged and fueled by debt, creative accounting, and outright lies.  The market to support a dozen streaming services on Netflix's level does not exist.  

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12 hours ago, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:

exclusive to its own platforms


Didn't we go through this when Steam proved successful?  All of the major game publishers came out with their own platforms, and they were either horrible or packed with crap except for one or two games, so the publishers eventually went back to selling on Steam simply because their own platforms proved to be unpopular and unprofitable?


We can send probes out of our solar system, we can create antimatter, but we can't learn from our failures, apparently.


12 hours ago, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:

How many platforms do you sub to


None.  I have a 15Gb/month data limit.  No point spending money on a streaming service I'd only be able to use for about six hours out of each month, especially since that would make everything else I do online a test of my patience (throttled data rates tend to be worse than 56Kbps dial-up).

  • Like 1

Get busy living... or get busy dying.  That's goddamn right.

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Netflix and Amazon Prime - and to be honest, I only have the latter for the free shipping (I order enough junk from them that it's worth the sub).  As for Netflix, someone gave me a gift card for it years ago, and even with that I was on the fence about it - until I discovered they had the original Star Trek on their streaming service.  Bam.  Sold.  In for life.


That said, AFIAIC no show is essential.  Even STotUA ("Star Trek of the Unfortunate Acronym).  Actually, especially STotUA.  Saw one season on Prime for free, bought a couple episodes of season 2 to see if it got better, and, well, it didn't.  IMO.  That, more than anything, convinced me that it probably isn't worth subscribing to any of the millions and billions of streaming services out there.

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I only sub to one or two services at a time, and change them up if I see a few things I'd like to watch on one of them. I tend to keep an eye on recurring charges - I've found they can tend to sneakily accumulate if you're not careful.

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Amazon is the only one I maintain without gaps as I order some staples and many other things from Prime, so the streaming stuff is a bonus to that.


Everything else I will sub/un-sub as the season/content suits.  Hulu I'll keep around when my cartoons are in season, for example.  I also keep a Motor Trend subscription for part of the year during the WEC/DTC/BTCC racing seasons, because MT shows a lot of EuroSport broadcasts of races in their entirety.


Same for NBC's Track Pass for IMSA endurance racing here in the States... Though I understand that next year IMSA will be on Peacock, so I might have to bite the bullet on that.  The big issue here is that American motorsports commentators are complete trash compared to the Brits like John Hindhaugh and Jeremy Shaw, so I listen to that while watching the NBC cameras.  Which was frustrating as hell during Petit Le Mans recently as the video feed showed a freaking recap of the race over 2 of the last 3 laps of the thing, when there was a LOT of drama and over-taking happening for the championship positions in the top class.  It was cuckoo-bonkers for them to have cut away from all that.


Ahem... sorry.  I know this is one of those things only I care about around here. 😄


I have yet to dive into Disney+ series, but was able to watch the first couple seasons of Discovery and the first season of Picard via "channels" on Amazon although I don't see that being a thing now that Paramount+ is up and running.  I suppose once Strange New Worlds is actually out I may jump in for that one.


I've not had Netflix for quite some time, I did the "BritBox" package on Amazon for a hot minute so I could re-watch Red Dwarf and also sort of got into a police procedural called "New Tricks" which was silly yet fun.


One thing to which I have been meaning to subscribe is Criterion.


Edit, because I was having this thought just the other day:


The hilarious part of all this is that we are getting exactly what we wished for 10+ years ago:


"This Cable Package Nonsense is Terrible! Why can't I just pay for the things I want to watch."


5 years from now:


"OMFG! Why do I have to subscribe to so many things?  Can't I just bundle together what I want on one website???"



Edited by InvaderStych
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The issue, @InvaderStych, is that when it was -just- Netflix, people didn't have to navigate Byzantine labyrinths of intentionally confusing cable package "deals."

It was all in one place, basically.

Then came amazon, and it was still tolerable.  A little difference between the two with exclusives, but nothing world-ending.


But now that every corporate entity wants a streaming service all their own, they've gone and carved up Netflix and made everything confusing as hell again.  The streaming landscape effectively looks the same as the already mentioned cable package labyrinths, just with a different coat of paint.


The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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It's about time - I've been holding this in for 2 years now:


Speaking of which, I've gotten a fair bit of mileage out of Youtube as well - even after Google bought it out and dropped the phrase "Don't be evil" from its code of conduct.  It is the stumpy but steady third leg of my visual entertainment tripod.


Why, yes, that did sound wrong as I typed it.

Edited by TheOtherTed
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4 hours ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

But now that every corporate entity wants a streaming service all their own, they've gone and carved up Netflix and made everything confusing as hell again.  The streaming landscape effectively looks the same as the already mentioned cable package labyrinths, just with a different coat of paint.


Yeah. That was the joke. 😉


Which was firmly aimed at myself more than anything else.  And even still I'll take the status quo over the early days; Netflix didn't have nearly "everything" when it started streaming, then there was this window shortly after Netflix/Hulu started their early originals where both of them and Amazon had tons of overlap... except for the originals ... even now with the splintered landscape it's still light years beyond what we dealt with growing up - crap VHS copies of everything that mattered. 😄



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