I have a list of shows that I want to watch but never got to. And it keeps getting longer. Stranger Things, The Punisher, Luke Cage, Narcos, Altered Carbon, that Godzilla anime, are all shows that piqued my interest but I never got around to watching. And this is only on Netflix. My ability to watch TV shows and movies diminished significantly and changed irrevocably two years ago when my daughter showed up. Not that I’m complaining, I’m merely stating my plight.
My backlog situation is about to get a lot worse in the months ahead as media giants Disney and WarnerMedia gear up to launch their own streaming services — Disney+ and HBO Max, respectively. Not content to let traditional media companies have their way, Apple announced earlier this year that it intends to get into video streaming business too with Apple TV+, which is set to launch this fall.
Like Netflix, these three contenders will invest heavily in creating new content. Disney has an enviable library of licenses to draw from and will bolster its Disney+ streaming service with new shows set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars franchise. A spin-off featuring Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in the works, as is a Star Wars drama featuring an unnamed Mandalorian warrior. There are also plans to reboot classics like Peter Pan and Lady and the Tramp.
HBO Max, on the other hand, can count on WarnerMedia’s multitude of networks and services like HBO, Cartoon Network, CNN, TBS, and DC Universe for content. Work has also started on a new Dune drama series, which will surely delight fans of the classic science-fiction saga. It also has a long-term deal with the BBC and as a result will have exclusive streaming rights to Doctor Who, Top Gear, and the British version of The Office.
Though Apple is a newcomer to the business of producing shows, it’s hard to see them as an underdog because of their considerable clout and massive cash reserves. They have invested heavily in creating original content, with the most notable being For All Mankind, a science-fiction drama showing an alternate history where the Soviet Union landed on the moon first and the space race never ended. Apple has also signed on some of the biggest names in entertainment, like Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg, to produce shows for Apple TV+.
Compelling content is, therefore, the name of the game. We can have more one phone or notebook but we only have 24 hours a day. Time spent watching the latest Star Wars drama on Disney+ is time that cannot be spent elsewhere. It is, therefore, in the interest of these services to attract the biggest talents and to craft the most captivating stories to get users to stay glued to their services. With so many shows to look forward to, the key takeaway is this: there’s never been a better time to be a couch potato.
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