Commentary

FX+ Gets Shuttered, But Consumers May Not Care

Lots of research may address the big growth of OTT platforms. But some noted consolidation is now taking place.

FX Networks, part of Disney-ABC Television, is now stopping its ad-free streaming service, FX+ , the almost 2-year-old service. But don’t worry as other plus-like services will continue to start up and/or thrive, like perhaps Disney+.

Blame consolidation of traditional media companies. It is due, in part, from a contraction of legacy TV businesses. That’s why 21st Century Fox, as an overall company, saw the writing on the wall. It wasn’t likely to compete — on its own — with Netflix and Amazon and others in the coming decades.

So it sold — almost everything — to Disney, a much larger, diversified media and entertainment company.

Not all Fox digital platforms are being stopped. A message on FX+ directed visitors to watch FX shows on its linear channels, as well as on FXNetworks.com or on the FXNow app.

Consumers' thoughts? Maybe just a shrug of the shoulders. Not only are there plenty of D2C services, but there is lots of content everywhere. Among other D2C platforms, FX content could make its way to Hulu, majority owned by Disney.

Media D2C owners continue to recognize this. The current model for most big-profile, TV-brand OTT platforms — whether a Netflix, Hulu or whatever — consists of stopping a service after just a month. No penalty. No uncomfortable phone calls with customer-service reps.

Separate from the consolidation reasoning, there is perhaps an over-saturation of OTT platforms that don’t have the ability to scale. NBC already closed one of these apps, SeeSo, its comedy-centric OTT platform. WarnerMedia/Otter Media’s Fullscreen stopped in 2018, just a little over a year after starting.

In a related move, AT&T just announced plans to launch HBO Max, which begs the question: What does this mean for HBO Now, HBO Go and other HBO digital platforms?

Confused? So are we. Consumer sentiment quickly makes its way to senior TV executives, business-development types and others. So expect, in the coming months, other initial OTT permutations, to get the heave-ho.

Consumers will continue to be nonplussed.

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