Netflix may have popularized the idea of a streaming service, but its now far from being the only one. Hulu and Amazon have been around for a while now, CBS All Access is still wet behind the ears, and Apple, Warner Media and Disney+ are coming in the not too near future. However, those seven will have to make room for another competitor stepping into the ring: NBCUniversal.
The media conglomerate announced Monday that it is preparing to launch an “ad-supported direct-to-consumer service” in 2020.
In a statement on the announcement, NBCU CEO Steve Burke said:
“NBCUniversal has some of the world’s most valuable intellectual property and top talent, both in front of and behind the camera. Many of the most-watched shows on today’s popular streaming platforms come from NBCUniversal. Our new service will be different than those presently in the market and it will be built on the company’s strengths, with NBCUniversal’s great content and the technology expertise, broad scale and the wide distribution of Comcast Cable and Sky.”
“People are watching premium content more than ever, but they want more flexibility and value. NBCUniversal is perfectly positioned to offer a variety of choices, due to our deep relationships with advertisers and distribution partners, as well as our data-targeting capabilities. Advertising continues to be a major part of the entertainment ecosystem and we believe that a streaming service, with limited and personalized ads, will provide a great consumer experience.”
It was only a matter of time before the Comcast-owned NBCUniversal launched a stand-alone streaming service. The service is set to draw “from its content library and offer up its film and television franchises as well as original programming and content from outside partners. It will be free for NBCU pay TV subscribers in the U.S. and abroad. Comcast Cable and Sky, which have a combined 52 million subscribers, will distribute the service in the U.S. and abroad, though NBCU also hopes to strike deals with other pay TV providers to offer it for free to their customers, too. An ad-free tier and a version of the service for non-pay TV customers will also be offered at a price in line with other subscription services like Netflix.”
I’ve long prophecized that streaming services would just become the new cable channels and this is starting to become true. Of course, NBC has had a lot of quality programming across its decades on TV and that alone is enough to entice viewers away from Netflix. You better watch The Office and Friends while you still can everyone, because they may have a new home come 2020.
What are your thoughts on yet another streaming service you might have to subscribe to? Let us know down in the comments!