Screw You Cable, I have Prime, Playstation, Netflix, Hulu , YouTube…
Gone are the days when the only choices on TV were ABC, NBC, CBS or PBS. The future of channel surfing looks more like Sony Playstation, Amazon Prime, Netflix. Where our entertainment was once confined to whatever stations wanted us to see, we are now free to choose what we want to see, where we want to see it and when we want to see it.
Original programming not associated with cable television is winning awards and viewers. At some point the public is going to realize they can bookmark shows they love, or new shows they learn to love, and drop cable television and it’s often sub-par customer service.
You can argue that, if you pay for Prime, Netflix and Hulu as well as other services then you may as well pay for cable once you add those all up together, but with the amount of new, original programming being created, some of which is winning major awards, it’s time for people to reassess their entertainment options and become empowered.
First, there’s a lot of free entertainment out there. DailyMotion.com, Vimeo, Viddler and YouTube are just a few sites that offer shows, including feature films. Often these are either archives shows, such as the classic Doctor Who episodes which are readily found on Dailymotion.com, or original independent shows and movies on other online videos sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Internet Archives and others. There is a lot of free entertainment to be had.
If you’re looking for short form entertainment such as short films, webisodes, trailers and viral videos you have a wide variety of options according to your personal tastes. Amazon now has Amazon Shorts which include short films, author interviews and the like. YouTube is a gold mine for viral videos, trailers, music videos and short films. You can even be specific about the genre you wish to see such as GodTube for Christians, YouTube.com/Booktrailers for readers, HowTo.com for Do-it-Yourself lovers, the list is endless.
The big battle for entertainment lies in new series shows and feature films created for specific companies. Even Playstation has stated creating original shows for the users of their console and of course Amazon.com has recently won Golden Globe awards for its show Transparent and has myriad of other shows on the horizon.
What You Get For The Money
Let’s do a price break down with a quick look at what you can get for your money.
Netflix pricing starts at $7.99 and goes up to $11.99 per month. That’s $95.88 to $144.88 per year.
Netflix has award winning, original programming as well.
The Netflix subscription gives you the ability to watch shows and movies on multiple devices is you have the streaming, though the number of devices you can use care limited.
Amazon.com, which owns Amazon Studios has really brought it with their own award winning, original programming. They have an interesting way of choosing what will be a series. They create pilots and let their subscribers determine what they’d like to see. So subscribers get a voice in the type of original programming Amazon creates.
Prime, which is the subscription service for Prime Instant Video where Amazon plays their original shows, established and classic shows and movies is $99 a year. This breaks down to $8.25 per month. Amazon does have streaming for non-members, but you pay per video for what you want to watch, though their Amazon Shorts is free for anyone to watch for free.
With Prime there’s no limitation on the number of devices you can use, which is a benefit to the subscription over Netflix.
Amazon provides an at-a-glance page that lets their subscribers know what Amazon has that Netflix does not- See the comparison HERE
Netflix specializes in streaming video, which many people may feel comfortable in sharing their password and login even though limited private information could be accessed. Since the only additional charge from Netflix might be a subscription upgrade, if someone were to share their Netflix account information there’s not a huge risk. A quick call to Netflix confirmed this is the issue. According to the Netflix representative they found that people were willing to share their Netflix account with several people, so Netflix had to limit the number of devices allowed to stream at one time.
Amazon doesn’t have that problem, or not on the same level, or so it would seem given that they do not limit the number of devices subscribers can use at one time. Amazon’s Prime subscription service is very family friendly in this regard. Each person in your family can watch Prime Instant Video if you allow them to login to your Amazon account. And therein lays the biggest difference. Because an Amazon.com account allows someone to purchase pretty much anything on the planet, people are reluctant to share their password and login. It also would give people access to private information such as items they order, emails from 3rd party sellers direct to your Amazon account and other information people might feel is sensitive.
Hulu, AOL.com, Sony Playstation, Crackle and others are also creating original content and selling either a subscription service or pay-for-play options.
Hulu.com is $7.99 per month and offers current content, classics and movies. Some of this can be viewed for free, but it’s very limited. They have original content as well including The Awesomes, East Los High, The Hotwives of Orlando and Deadbeat among others.
When it comes to online streaming some are offering subscription services and some are pay-per-view.
The other issue to keep in mind is the ease in which you are able to watch a program. For example, Hulu, DailyMotion and others will interrupt your viewing to show you commercials that you can’t fast forward through. Often they allow you to click away after only a few seconds, but some force you to watch the entire thing, and some interrupt so often it becomes a chore to sit through the show or movie.
These companies need to make a profit in order to stay in business, how they do it is up to them and people will determine what model works best for their needs. Sometimes convenience is as important as cost.
The future of entertainment continues to evolve. When you think back to when FOX began, or CNN and all the talk about how it would never work and speculation about when it would fail, you can see nothing has really changed when it comes to speculation in regards to how entertainment is delivered and consumed. HBO no longer requires a special box to receive it, MTV is no longer just about music and online streaming video continues to grow with more offerings from more, sometimes unexpected, places.