Is the OTT market saturated yet?
The fact. With the announcement of Amazon adding HBO NOW and Cinemax to its Amazon Channels selections, the Amazon platform is seriously positioning itself in a solid way to compete with Netflix through its offering. Of course neither of the two is free (HBO is an add-on at $14.99 and Cinemax trails at $9.99) but the simple fact that they are now available on Amazon Channels means that the platform offers more variety to the Prime ecosystem users.
At a deeper look, however, things don’t seem to be that convenient. The convenience resides in the fact that “a la carte” is the way to go. If you are an Apple TV or a Roku user, for example, you may still want to use the standalone subscription – which costs $15 so it’s the same amount and you don’t have to go through Prime – and figure out if that’s the deal for you.
The consequences. Amazon Channels provides already 70 add-on offerings to its Prime subscriptions, beyond the regular Prime (free) content. DirectTV is now available on streaming – and offers HBO and Cinemax at $5/month as add-ons (on top of the $35/month subscription). SlingTV is a bundle service, like Prime, and charges $15 for HBO (like Amazon Channels) and $10 for Cinemax.
All things considered, there is an important conclusion: the variety of offers creates a double effect.
For starters, it provides “cord cutters” more options to justify the choice of cutting on the cable bill. Moving on, life is going to be even easier for those who try to get rid of cable for good. DVRs are on the way from these streaming providers and their User Interface is getting better and better (as a result of injecting more capital in design expenses and keeping an eye on the best in class).
The main consequence, however, is the saturation of the market and the unavoidable confusion that the regular Joe can feel when having to make a choice of a preferred streaming device or platform.
The quality of content remains – and will always be – the big differentiator. Content draws the user towards decisions and decisions determine spending. If Masters of None or Orange is The New Black don’t mean anything to you, then you most likely won’t subscribe to Netflix, no matter how cheap it is.