Streaming is now mainstream but people are going to get hurt

Image credit | metamorworks

Streaming just went mainstream. Suddenly the power of brands and content came into sharp focus. In a world where platitudes about customers being king, content being king and [insert name of latest trend] being king, the truth of the first two just hit.

With such heavyweights as Apple, Amazon, Google and Netflix already in the mix, the arrival of Disney to the streaming fray will really mix things up. And Disney has a lot of advantages.

High up the list of advantages is brand recognition. As Richard Windsor points out, you don’t need to wonder where to go to watch almost any decent animated movie of the last 50 years, nor do you need to guess whether you bought a film or box set on Amazon Prime, Netflix or Google when it comes to Star Wars.

And it is working. Already we know that the streaming service has notched up over 10 million subscribers (and said it will not give out any more numbers until its next earnings call), which is more than its competitors attracted in a span of years.

While that is going on, Google just launched Stadia, its streaming service for games which, according to the company, does away with the need for everything except a decent broadband connection. No more connecting relatively expensive consoles and making sure all the different bits of kit are compatible.

Although Google is quite muted about the launch and is simply acknowledging ‘the direction of travel’ the fact that Google has put its stamp on simple streaming makes that direction of travel more likely.

There is a part of this that veterans of the technology world will look on and shake their heads about. We have lost many cherished devices over the years as technology companies have invented better and faster hardware and maybe that is indeed the direction of travel.

But now is the official starting point for a world where streaming is how everything arrives. And, as long as you have a decent broadband connection (which many still do not) it makes complete sense.

In the long run, streaming is clearly now mainstream but in the shorter term, the streaming battles between the tech giants and the King of Content will be fascinating to watch.

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