Despite competitors such as Apple, Disney, and AT&T, analysts state that Netflix’s claim to dominance in the streaming market remains strong. Recognizing this, Netflix’s competitor companies have turned to offering plentiful freebies and discounts. At present, streaming service freebies have become the favored market tactic.
As examples of the extent of this tactic: subscribers to Verizon’s unlimited plans will get a free year of Disney+, and customers who have bought new Apple devices will get a free year of Apple TV as well.
With the splintering of content into several rival services, the year following the launch of said services will be all about accruing a substantial subscriber base, according to Kevin Wescott, head of US telecommunications at Deloitte.
According to Wescott, this will be best accomplished by giving discounts that are hard to refuse; and, more importantly, releasing “must-see shows” on the services. The former of which, combined with free trials and features, seem to be what the heads of the streaming services have determined will work best at the moment, while the “must-see shows” are getting read for release.
All of these streaming service freebies, though mostly exclusive, incur unsustainable losses for the service offering them, meaning that eventually, they will have to terminate. Once that occurs, there is a high likelihood that most customers who enjoyed the trial will not be retained.
However, retention can come after, once the influx of the customers had ground to a standstill and all the “must-see shows” have been released, said Wescott. By then, he and many other experts agree that the biggest factor that would make customers stay will be the content.
Billions of dollars are being spent by these services’ parent companies in order to find the next “Stranger Things” or “Game of Thrones”. As the opening stages of the “streaming wars” draw to a close, exclusive programming will ultimately be the deciding factor in the survival of each of these fledgling streaming services.