In streaming content is king

I have tried a handful of video streaming services this year. And I’ve realized that the most critical aspect of a streaming service is content. Everything else is secondary: apps, curation, brand, etc. 

Most services have affordable pricing (€6-€12 per month), which means they need customers to subscribe for a long time to succeed. However, few of them have enough content I like to compel me to become a long-term subscriber.

Currently my ranking of video streaming providers is Netflix > Prime Video > F1 TV > DisneyPlus > Apple TV+.

I am a long-term subscriber to Netflix. They are competent generalists when it comes to content. I love only a few things in their catalog, but they deliver enough good stuff for me to justify the €12 monthly fee at least once a month. Given the price of going to the cinema, €12 is a bargain if they can deliver at least 2 hours of good content per month. Which they often do. The bar is very low.

I am a long-term subscriber of Prime video too. Honestly, Prime video is cheating. I pay for Prime membership so I can get free Amazon shipping. Prime video happens to be a nice add-on that comes with it. However, they have decent content. The only annoying part is that I am not fluent in German and Prime video has 50%+ of their content dubbed without English audio/subtitles support. That said, Prime video is a good runner-up behind Netflix. I also like the fact that they allow for renting movies.

I picked up Formula 1 during the pandemic. Yes, I was that bored! Anyhow, I watch Formula 1 through F1 TV. Their website isn’t great, and they don’t have mobile apps. But it is one of the few places I can watch live races. It is crazy you can have a decent business by just streaming a single sport!

DisneyPlus is OK. They have an impressive catalog (i.e., Marvel, Pixar, Disney, Star Wars), but I’m not in their audience. I subscribe to it whenever I need to watch a specific show (e.g., Hamilton, The Mandalorian) and then unsubscribe. 

I am super skeptical of Apple TV+. Their catalog in Germany is so tiny they use a single page to list everything. At least Prime Video would be a decent service even if it weren’t for the Prime membership. I think Apple TV+ only makes sense within the context of the Apple One subscription. Bundles are a fantastic business model for the provider. I treat Apple TV+ like DisneyPlus and temporarily subscribe whenever I need to watch a specific thing. I look forward to watching Foundation, though.

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