Streaming 'Everything' Bundle Coming? Linear TV's Demise Closing In

As TV consumers, we want everything -- preferably in one place. Picking and choosing a streaming platform here or there can be fun (as well as unsubscribing from time to time). 

But consumers might really want to have an easier time figuring out this whole TV network/platform buying thing -- at least according to Jason Kilar, former CEO at WarnerMedia and Hulu.

And not just for consumers -- but also for business executives running legacy media companies, who are facing challenges with their mostly money-losing streaming services.

Here’s the deal, he says: Give consumers a new form of pay TV “everything” bundle, in a new age streaming version.



Admittedly, this is something President and chief executive officer of Warner Bros. Discovery David Zaslav has also been considering -- even as he has methodically been cutting back on TV and movie production costs at Max. 

Kilar believes, as many others do, that Netflix seemingly has an insurmountable lead, with more 230 million global consumers and -- compared to other wannabe platforms -- really doesn’t lose many subscribers to “churn.”

Why? Netflix is big -- real big. It is the mothership streaming product for consumers.

Apart from this, Kilar thinks Hulu -- a place he used to work -- could have been a nascent streaming “everything” bundle thing.

He believes it could still evolve into that, at least as a model.

And think about it from the “everything” bundle perspective. Initially, major media companies were partners in Hulu -- NBCUniversal, 20th Century Fox, and Walt Disney. 

Still, he believes all this will take some determination and long-term thinking -- and yes,even more cost and investment. 

It's uncertain whether any of these Wall Street sensitive big media companies could buy into this -- enduring even more years of billion-dollar annual losses for their streaming D2C services.

If this isn’t the answer, what is?

Know this: Declining linear TV businesses are waiting for no one to save them.

Maybe send them a care bundle.


4 comments about "Streaming 'Everything' Bundle Coming? Linear TV's Demise Closing In".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 30, 2023 at 10:23 a.m.

    In effect, he is saying, "Organize streaming like pay TV, with one great. big, bundle and one great big app so everybody who signs up can move from content provider to content provider easily."

    Sounds fine in theory----but what would such a bundle cost the average subscriber--my guess is a lot more than the typical "pay TV" bundle---and who sells it to consumers? And how do  you divide up the subscriber proceeds among various content suppliers---by usage stats? And what about FASTs and AVODs  being mixd in with SVODs that don't offer ads?  When a user picks a program offered by a FAST does the user get a hefty dose of commercials---but not so when selecting a show offered by a SVOD. And who gets to measure this giant bundle's audience--Nielsen?

    Also, would Netflix be invited to join? Or is this intended mainly as a counter to Netflix, with it's main players being the broadcast TV/cable -owned streaming services? Finally, what about the many smaller, independent content providers and what about other biggies---like Amazon. Do they participate as well?

    I probably left out many other relevant questions and, maybe, the idea of a single, huge bundle would prove too difficult to organize, sell to consumers and manage. In that case several rival --pretty big--- bundles might compete for subscriptions resulting in a situation like in TV's early days when we had three dominant broadcast TV networks competing with each other. 

    Still, I like the underlying idea of bundling as a way to sort out the winners ----and losers---and allow the former to make a profit.

  2. Jim Meskauskas from Media Darwin, Inc., October 30, 2023 at 3:31 p.m.

    So, basically, cable, but made up of streamers? It will have to cost a fortune if the existing streamers want to keep a piece of the pie the size of what they currently have offering thier own mini-pie.

    Content discovery and selection was always going to become a big challenge to solve, just like it has been for decades. Solving for this will still be an important whether all the streamers are brought into a bundle or not.

  3. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, October 30, 2023 at 4:22 p.m.

    Linear even satellite is more reliable than streaming. Ask the NFL Package viewers last weekend who had reception problems owing to buffering and pixelation. 

  4. Jim Meskauskas from Media Darwin, Inc. replied, October 30, 2023 at 6:42 p.m.

    Absolutely. Paramount+ is awful. 

Next story loading loading..