Streaming services are quickly driving us to piracy

It’s pretty clear by now that people take TV seriously. There are fan accounts on social media, petitions made for keeping a canceled show, fan-made art, posters and stories that can be found all over the internet. Numerous apps, like Amino, host communities full of people who want to show solidarity for anything they have a passion for; shows, fictional characters, movies, comics, games and everything in between. For movie lovers, websites like letterboxd help track, rate, and discuss movies with other fans out there. Sharing our passions with each other across continents and cultures is what connects us and television shows are the language we all speak. 

With the rise in streaming services, it’s becoming more difficult to access the most talked-about shows on the internet. There’s always the websites that say watch free movies and TV shows here, but most are riddled with ads and invisible X’s, making it nearly impossible to close the pop-up and will often redirect us to other sites offering a free iPhone 11. Reliable sites are near obsolete when some of the most popular ones like 123movies have expressed their desire to shut down.

There are about three hundred streaming services right now, and that number will just keep growing. Most households will subscribe to 2-3 services, leaving the question if many services will flop as a result.  Up and coming services such as ‘Peacock’, which will host all shows produced by NBC, has announced that they will take back one of Netflix’s most-watched shows- The Office. Never mind what kind of problem will this pose to Netflix, but think of The Office lovers. In 2018, Netflix had about 56.6 million subscribers to its service and it had reported that 52 billion minutes were spent watching The Office. This means that the average subscriber watched roughly 15 hours worth of Michael Scott’s crazy antics on repeat. We can only make a guess of what comes next; how many people are willing to take up that third or fourth subscription to keep up with the show loved for its wittiness, relationships, and misadventures? My guess is not many, but at the same time we have to have it for one of those days when we need something familiar and is guaranteed to make us laugh, and The Office is not the only show that gives viewers the feeling of tranquility and love for characters. More and more shows are being taken back to the networks that produced them, and some may never leave. Disney+ has made clear that all movies and original shows they produced back when it was Disney Channel, will only be found on the service. 

Where does that leave us, the viewers desperate to binge in order the MCU movies, feel nostalgic with Wizards of Waverly Place, and see the hype with Baby Yoda? 

Back to Piracy. 

The whole reason piracy seemingly disappeared in the first place is because of streaming giants like Netflix and Hulu, where they offered the availability of movies and shows at our fingertips. 

Is it cheaper to just subscribe to our heart’s desire?


As described by the video above, the average household cable bill in 2018 amounted to $107 with streaming services held at $26. If you paid for five streaming services(Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO), not including the cost of the internet, it would amount to a monthly bill of $89. That’s the thing though, not many people are still going to pay for these options since this is the ideal situation. Also bear in mind, the content on the services will just continue to bounce around to other streaming apps, still leaving the problem that viewers won’t find the show they want to watch most of the time. 

There is an undeniable tension felt nationwide when the news announces yet another service will be taking over. What these services bring that no other can replicate are the original shows they produce. If they can captivate the small attention span of the public eye, then maybe some stand a chance of gaining moderate subscribers. A study done by Deloitte found that form the 2,000 people they surveyed, 47% are becoming increasingly ‘frustrated’ that they have to have a variety of subscriptions to watch what they want to, and over half agreed that they subscribe for original content. 




John Capea is a film critic who runs the Collider Movie Talk YouTube channel. Above he discusses how the overflow of streaming services had paved the way for some of the most original, loved shows. Capea proposes that with streaming services, the production of shows like Stranger Things and The Mandalorian would never have been made by traditional networks, but because it was pitched to these services, they gave it a chance and now it is among the most talked-about shows on Netflix and Disney+. With this outburst of admiration, more shows got the chance to be produced and viewed to an even bigger audience than it would have gotten on cable. We have more choices than ever before because of that, but it still doesn’t change the fact that we cant watch much of it due to how to spread out everything is. With three hundred services, what more is possibly needed?

The ‘Streaming Wars’-as it is occasionally held- has no doubt allowed for more projects to take place, inspire others and unleash a world of creativity. You can’t contain creativity, but we should start to relay the message that at some point people will snap and refuse to pay for that service when the companies that make them don’t have the idea of choice and creativity in mind, but rather how they can keep up with their competitors.