When Netflix was founded all the way back in 1997, in California, video streaming was a rather quaint concept, at a time when companies like Blockbuster and LoveFilm dominated the video market, by way of physical rental and return.
Netflix vs Amazon
Netflix expands rapidly
Major film studios enter the fray
Trade on our Streaming Media basket
To get exposure to this new sector and all of its new opportunities, we’ve launched a Streaming Media basket, which contains 10 major players in this exciting new industry, including Amazon, Apple, Disney and Netflix.
Alphabet Inc – Class A
Launched in February 2017, YouTube TV is a mix of live TV, video-on-demand and DVR features. It's a TV and movie-streaming service using YouTube's interface. The YouTube TV channels list includes more than 70 live TV channels, based on region, and content from the YouTube Originals channel. Alphabet also has the Google Play Movies app, another HD video on-demand service, which acts as a device for downloading and storing films and digital copies. It works on a similar basis to the Apple TV app, integrating other streaming services to coordinate disparate content providers under one umbrella.
Amazon’s on-demand video streaming service was launched in 2006, and added as a Prime subscriber benefit for UK customers in 2014.
Apple launched its on-demand streaming TV service, Apple TV+, in November 2019, offering a year’s free subscription to users who purchase a new Apple device. Apple offers a raft of original TV shows and films.
Disney released Disney+ to the US, Canada and Netherlands in November 2019, with its UK release taking place in March 2020. With over 50m subscriptions in its first five months, Disney appears to be making great strides in cementing a place in the online streaming space. Disney's content is primarily films and shows produced by Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Television, including its own brands like Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars.
The original provider in the streaming space, Netflix offers a huge range of TV shows, films and its own content, and now has over 148m paid subscriptions worldwide.
California-based Roku manufactures a variety of digital media players, enabling customers to access internet-streamed video or audio services via TVs. Roku’s media-streaming devices run on Roku software. The company’s released its first product — the Roku DVP —in 2008.
Why trade on streaming media?
The bullish stance
- Greater numbers of people that ever are using streaming content as their preferred means of consuming programmes
- Consumers are able to stream media in a large variety of ways, which means people have lots of choice and the means readily-available to be able to access and watch shows
- More providers are entering the market, driving up competition and potentially pushing down prices
The bearish view
- As more providers enter the market, each platform’s overall programme quality could become more disperse, potentially driving some customers away if they don’t feel they are receiving value for money
- Consumers are unlikely to have more than one streaming media subscription due to the costs involved
- Streaming services’ global energy consumption increased by 84% in 2019 to 451,000 megawatt hours – which is the equivalent of powering 40,000 average US homes for a year. Digital technologies now account for more carbon emissions than the aerospace industry, according to a study by the Shift Project
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