Streaming Platforms' 'Linear TV' Additions Grow... And Become Complex

Linear TV networks on streaming platforms? Is that confusing to the modern consumer?

It depends on their streaming home-page education for each individual streaming service -- whether Disney+, Netflix,Prime Video, or another service.

Streaming services are now looking for more ways to consume content. Disney+ is reportedly planning to launch “linear themed channels” devoted to some specific TV brands such as Marvel and Star Wars.

The channels would be similar to FAST services offered by competitors, but with a subscription price for Disney+.

This would be in addition to specific branded “tiles” for Marvel, Star Wars, or other categories that contain individual movies/TV series/episodes for those specific brands.



All this "linear" content may sound like an old-school thing.

The effort is twofold: First, gently lead the older TV viewer into the future digital video world. 

Second, give the consumer even more choice. They may want a linear TV experience that moves from one show to another without the consumer having to pick up the remote. Fine.

Many streamers do versions of this now. For example, on Peacock Premium or Premium Plus, you can watch live cable TV networks, such as Hallmark Channel or Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. They reside in the "Channels" area on Peacock.

Paramount+ has live CBS local TV stations and branded linear-theme channels for “Star Trek”, “SpongeBob” and “Paw Patrol” to see individual TV series episodes and movies.

FAST channels (Free Ad-Supported Television) services also have these linear theme channels, focused around specific programs, or program categories like procedure crime dramas.

Making other connections with content, linear theme channels can also sit -- or close to -- to the home-page selection of individual original streaming episodes to choose from.

The question is whether all this variation on the theme to consumer content -- by series/channel/program themes/or branded program themes -- are good for entertainment discovery for consumers.

The streaming home page navigation/electronic program guide (EPG) can seem quirky for some consumers, easier for others. 

Content discovery navigation tools can all be slightly different. The question is does this lead to greater overall time spent on the service-- which can be a selling tool to high profile movies and TV producers and/or advertisers for streamers’ ad-option products -- or not?

If you spend more than five minutes picking a TV, brand, or channel, consider you have better things to do with your time than being in front of your large living room screen.

Try not to get lost in the streaming discovery shuffle. Your streaming service will thank you. 

3 comments about "Streaming Platforms' 'Linear TV' Additions Grow... And Become Complex".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 22, 2024 at 9:44 a.m.

    Wayne, what most consumers really want is first, to be able to pick and choose between various content suppliers and select only those that they---or their familty--- wants---the goal being to pay less. Second, what most also want is the ability to switch easily from source to source  to find content they might wish to watch. Third, many are perfectly fine with "appointment viewing" for most of the TV they consume. Sure, once in a while, a consumer may have a specific desire for a certain bit of content and when this happens the on-demand function is used---providing the consumer knows which source provides that content, it's readily identifiable  and he/she has access to it. That'sbaout it.

    Assuming that I'm correct, the more the program sources slice and dice their offerings, creating networks within networks and within these, still finer gradations, they are making things more complicated and not necessarily better.

  2. Ben B from Retired replied, April 22, 2024 at 7:49 p.m.

    I don't mind watching a TV show at 8PM live I'm old school in that way and I watch shows I couldn't watch OnDemand from broadcast or cable. I like appointment TV which isn't dead as some like to claim that it is.

  3. Daniel Quintanilla from Daniel plus Lauren, April 23, 2024 at 9:34 a.m.

    My feeling is that streaming options aren't going to get easier to navigate.  Those choices consumers make are important, they know where to go on their remote control input.  But for those who need help, the remote control needs to be improved, where the input needs to be more emphasized.  A level up to this is for the TV remote to be screen based, have several of your subscription services pop up and all you hit is the service you want to go to.  Whether it's Hulu or Xfinity, it's easy for you to go to.

    Another idea is either your TV or your cable service control all your TV input directs through an app, without needing a physical remote control.

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