How many video streaming services are you paying for?


Apple is a constant looming presence in the smartphone market. Even at trade events like CES or Mobile World Congress, Apple’s name gets dropped on a semi-regular basis. Whether it’s about a future iPhone, or how new smartphones compare to Apple’s latest effort, or even just accessories, the company is always present. And while the company certainly enjoys that reality, there may be one area where that isn’t really the case.

On March 25, Apple is going to host an event that is more than likely going to focus primarily on its new, and oft-talked about streaming video service. The company has landed impressive deals over the years, including shows that will star Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, among others. The company has also found itself a partnership with production studio A24, and their first joint venture is a feature film staring Sofia Coppola and starring Bill Murray.

And yet, it’s Disney that feels like the looming presence in the streaming video market.

Apple’s own streaming effort will launch later this year, maybe in the spring. Disney+, meanwhile, won’t arrive until closer to the end of the year. But when Disney’s effort does launch, it’s going to have a whole host of content to watch. Including its entire film catalog, including the animated/live-action titles it has previously hidden away in the “vault”. This will be the go-to shop for Marvel films, Pixar titles, and Star Wars content.

I don’t think Disney+ is going to have a hard time justifying its presence, or monthly subscription demand. But it’s an interesting thing, especially when it should be easy to say the same thing for Netflix, which has a ridiculous library of third-party content and a worthwhile stable of original content, too. But when the service recently announced a price hike I saw a lot of backlash. “Is it worth it anymore?” For me that’s an easy one: Yes. But others definitely don’t see it that way.

I’m subscribed to two of these video streaming services: Hulu (which recently cut prices) and Netflix. That’s all I need. But I am ready to throw money at the screen for Disney+ later this year, and I’ll probably sign up for whatever Apple calls its own service because some of the content I’ve heard about has me genuinely excited. But there are so many other options out there, and it always feels like we’re right on the cusp of hearing about even more at some point.

AT&T has a full slate already, with another streaming service planned to launch later this year. NBC Universal wants in on the game, too, and will launch its own streaming service at some point in the future. And then there’s CBS All Access, which I’m definitely going to be signing up for to (finally) catch up on Star Trek Discovery and watch all of Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone series.

Two now. Potentially five before the end of 2019. Great!

With so many already available, and even more on the way, how many are you paying for these days? Are you a DirecTV Now subscriber that’s impacted by the service’s recent changes? Are you planning on signing up for Disney+ and/or Apple’s own option later this year? Let me know!

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