WE STILL SCREAM FOR A STREAM!

As the nation approaches the fist anniversary of the start of what’s been called everything from “The Pandemic”, “COVIG-19” ,“The Beginning of the End”, “When All Hell Broke Loose” and other phrases that are not suitable to print within these pages, millions that been doing their best in keeping safe, sane, or otherwise, while hunkering down in where they live. These folks have been doing anything and everything from cooking, cleaning up their dwelling spaces, fixing things around the house that until recently they never got around in doing, as well as other activities from the aggressive to passive.

In the latter category, folks have been ramping up in their viewing of programming and content that can be consumed through an electronic device that sports a video screen i.e. a traditional television set, a desktop/laptop computer, an electronic pad (“iPad”, etc.) as well as a smart phone that’s gotten a whole lot smarter in recent times.

One of those ways to consume moving imagery (“video”) is through a streaming service or portal. Many of these services are available for free since they are advertiser supported. Yes, they show commercials that run from 15 through sixty seconds each, but not as many spots verses what the cable and over-the-air channels would program. The rest are based on paid subscriptions, akin to what “pay-TV” used to be when HBO, Showtime, The Movie Channel, etc. dominated cable TV pay services since the 1980’s.

According to a survey report entitled 2021 State of Industry Report: Customer Retention in Subscription Businesses filed by Brightback, a consumer retention software company, it stated that some 98% of domestic video consumers now subscribe to at least one streaming media service, and three quarters (75%) subscribe to two or more services.

Based on their poll taken within the last two weeks of 2020 from a little over one thousand responses by those aged eighteen and up dwelling in the USA that have access to any streaming media service (paid or otherwise), the report notes that a little over half of those (53%) subscribe to a service accessible through their phones. (A “mobile app”). These mobile apps are not necessarily limited to media content. It could be anything from a program that rates one’s health, dealing with scheduling, or anything that holds a practical function that where one pays for per each billing period. (Usually it’s on a monthly basis, but could be extended as much as a year’s time!) 39% pay for news from such sources as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, and other traditional news outlets that started out as print newspapers. 37% have a “box subscription”-subscribing to more that one service as a package deal, 34% have a subscription based on health and fitness (one can assume that this health and fitness is both physical and/or emotionally based) 31% is based on food and cooking, while the rest (33%) state as “other”. That “other” can range from everything from sports news and views, online gambling, even porn! (Yep! In 2020, PornHub.com reported an uptick in paid subscription for that year, while it increased its traffic for its “free” services.)

Although there are many streaming service to choose from that caters to many tastes in programming as well as the demographics that go along with it, Netflix is the given choose with a multitude of programs to view from traditional TV-esque series to feature length “movies”. And interestingly enough, that portal has the easiest cancellation option! (23% stated that they called it quits with Netflix without any problems.) On the other end, Hulu had it worse, as 4.7% admitted that bailing out had its compilations. Comparing, Netflix came in second place with 2.7% of cancellation difficulty.

But what would it take for those that wish to bail out with one service to make ‘em stay? Some kind of discount or premium incentive! Almost half (49%) stated that if a channel or service gave them an offer they couldn’t refuse, they would hang around for a while! For a lot of people, filing for “divorce” with a streaming service can be as easy as it is difficult! And if a service offered a “cancel button” on their website or visual portal, it would be the best method to cancel verses cancelling over the phone, by way of e-mail, a “live chat” outlet, or through an app. Of course, depending on one’s age, those preferred choices would vary. 69% of younger Millenniums (aged 25-34) would use the “cancel button”. Older Gen-Xers (45-54) would make a phone call. (25%) Those that were older than Baby Boomers (65 and up) would be the second level to make that phone call at 24%. However, a simple “cancel button” would be the preferred choice by all ages!

For those that desire to read all of the facts and figures from this report, take a visit to Brightback’s website at https://brightback.com/, and view the report for yourself!

As of this writing, although the numbers of cases are down and vaccinations are up or at least as steady, it will be quite a while until things get back to a “normal” that folks would recognize. Until that day (or days) finally arrive, people will still be hunkering down at home to watch the latest and perhaps greatest of what the streaming channels have to offer. And there will be more to look at in the future. Paramount+, a channel operated by CBSViacom, will offer “A Mountain of Entertainment”–or says the advertising campaign for this new entry in the streaming wars. It will offer what CBS All Access (its one time name for this service) presented, as well as properties from Paramount Pictures. It isn’t known if the entire of library of features from Paramount will be available, so it’s going to be wait and see. Then again, even through Paramount has been around in many ways going back to 1912, they don’t necessarily has their entire output on hand.

The studio sold its library of releases from 1927 through 1947 to Universal (MCA Television as it was known at the time) back in 1957, while selling its cartoon unit to Associated Artists Productions (later United Artist Television) around the same time. So much of their output had been resourced. Universal still owns the ’27-’47 collection, and has no plans to get it go. However, Universal is connected to NBC what has its own streaming service named Peacock, named after a bird that’s been NBC’s mascot since 1956 when it first introduced color pictures into the TV landscape. But that’s for another story, and for another feat of technology!

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

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