A consolidation of sorts would be a good trend -- distribution-wise -- for consumers.
But is old-school thinking necessary?
A recent reading from Aluma Insights finds that 35% subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) customers believe they are spending too much on streamers.
A year ago, 25% of those customers said they were looking to make streaming cuts, compared to 24% in 2021. Only 5% now believe they could be spending more on streamers.
To an extent, legacy TV-based media companies continue their consideration of a streaming “bundling” trend. This comes from existing legacy media companies and other distributors.
Walt Disney has been somewhat of a forerunner in this, since it started up its direct-to-consumer (D2C) business with a trio package of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+.
Now, executives such David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery have been talking up so-called “super bundles” -- where competitive streaming platforms join with each other to provide a package under one monthly price -- possibly with an easy way to cancel and/or ad streaming services whenever they want.
"Content owners that have long competed head-to-head with one another will engage in strategic bundling with competitors," predicts Michael Greeson, founder and principal analyst of Aluma Insights.
Could some legacy U.S. distributors -- cable, satellite, telco, virtual -- make a full-fledged transition to a streaming business? Verizon is being competitive with its +play platform, packaging Netflix, Max, Paramount+, AMC+ and others in a bundle.
In addition, existing streaming distributors --- Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and perhaps the smaller Comcast's Xumo Play -- are also in the hunt.
But we should be a bit cautious.
Some TV network/streaming executives might be loath to inspire another pay TV MVPD business -- multichannel video program distributors (cable, satellite, virtual and telco) -- one that has been filled with ever higher carriage fee issues, blackouts, and now continue rising cord-cutting concerns.
Can any new distribution system give consumers all the choice and flexibility they demand?