Why Many of The New Streaming TV Services Will Fail

Couple watching TV

Couple watching TV

According to Motherboard, a consumer survey has confirmed what we already suspect. Too many costly streaming options will lead to piracy.  And that means less than projected revenue and growth.

Another new study indicates that piracy could increase dramatically if streaming content is fragmented across too many streaming services at too high a price point.

Broadband Genie, a UK broadband comparison website, conducted a survey of 1,500 consumers and found that 18 percent of respondents admitted to “often” or “occasionally” accessing content via illegal streams or file sharing services like BitTorrent.

But wait. It gets worse.

The survey found that number would jump to 37 percent if users are inundated with too many content exclusives spread across too many services. 67 percent of those surveyed felt they already pay too much for television content, and 48 percent said that price remained the biggest problem with having multiple streaming services.

The surfeit of streaming services will work itself out in the market place. Currently, each new streaming service exists because the company fooled itself into believing that its content, pricing and app delivery would be irresistible. Subscriber projections will be, by corporate political necessity, rosy.

But that’s not going to happen. Few of those services will succeed brilliantly. Some will suffer from some kind of technical or customer service mismanagement—or greed. Or disappointing earnings. They will fold or merge.

Pick your TV subscriptions wisely.

The Week’s News Debris

• Did you know there are multiple ways to start up a Mac in Recovery mode? The Eclectic Light Company describes the three different methods. Which Recovery Mode? I never knew about this. Did you?

• The Eclectic Light Company also has a great article on XProtect, what it does and recent changes. This is a must read. “How has XProtect changed?

According to Apple’s latest macOS security overview:
“macOS includes built-in technology for the signature-based detection of malware. Apple monitors for new malware infections and strains, and updates XProtect signatures automatically — independent from system updates — to help defend Mac systems from malware infections. XProtect automatically detects and blocks the installation of known malware.”

There’s much more.

• Will the 2020 iPhone be named the iPhone 11s? Financial analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says no. It’ll be the iPhone 12. TechRadar has the story. This makes good sense. The specter of ‘iPhone 11s Pro Max’ alphabet soup is just one character too much to say out loud.

• Remember way back in 2012? “Google Caught Bypassing Mobile Safari Privacy.” Earlier, the case had been thrown out of court. But now, it has new life in the U.K. Bloomberg reports: “Google Faces iPhone Privacy Lawsuit After Court Reinstates Case.

The judge said that by tracking and collecting data from users’ browsing history, Google took something of value from them.


• Apple learns from Microsoft and Microsoft learns from Apple. That’s the tl;dr version. But there’s oh, so much more in this fascinating editorial at AppleInsider by Mike Wuerthele. “Microsoft has learned some lessons from Apple, and that benefits us all.

• For some Apple Watch owners, watchOS 6 is killing the battery life. Cult of Mac has some user reports. “Apple Watch owners plagued by bad battery life under watchOS 6.” In one case the reported drain was 10-12 percent/hour.

A fix could be right around the corner. Apple rolled out a new watchOS 6.1 beta on September 23, and many testers report seeing better battery life after updating from watchOS 6.0.1.

It’ll be about time.

Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article(s) of the week followed by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.

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I’ve written before about the blood and treasure that will be sunk into diversified streaming services. It will take a long time, but eventually the “Netflix model” will triumph, long after Netflix itself will have lost all its non-original content. Its current dive into Original content is Netflix’s attempt to survive the diversification. It won’t make as much profit (I’m not even sure it makes a profit now, income yes, profit?), and its share price will plummet, but it might survive to come back stronger than ever when the distributors realise it’s not actually a profitable to run their own… Read more »

W. Abdullah Brooks, MD

John: Darwin would approve of your selections this week. There is little doubt that all of the streaming services being born now will not simply fail, die or be eaten, anymore than we should doubt that all of the wild salmon or lobster hatched this year will survive to spawning adulthood. Not only will most new services perish, we need them to for many of the same reasons that we need most newborns of any species to die. First, their numbers are simply non-sustainable. The ecosystem would collapse for lack of balance. In the entertainment ecosystem, simply put, there are… Read more »


In evolution this is a well documented pattern. A new environment will open up, or a new structure will appear, and there is an explosive radiation of new species. Then competition winnows them down to the small number that can form a stable ecosystem. Examples include the Cambrian radiation, the Triassic radiation following the Permian Catastrophe, and the Palaeocene radiation after the K/T extinction. I suspect you are correct in that streaming services will follow the same pattern.


I don’t understand why everyone thinks they should be a streaming service. Produce content then find a distributor.
Kellogg’s doesn’t open it’s own grocery store.

Lee Dronick

True that.


For whatever reason I recently found myself on the Wikipedia article about the Dumont Television Network that ran from the late ’40s into the ’50s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DuMont_Television_Network What I found interesting was why it folded. They had some bad luck, and made some mistakes. But the big reason they could not compete with NBC and CBS was that the latter had talent and shows from their radio days. Talent and series could just be ported directly across, sometimes the shows even had the same actors. This reduced their cost dramatically. Dumont had none of that. They had to create their stuff… Read more »

Lee Dronick

Simply put why spend $X/month for a service that has a couple dozen shows when the other one has hundreds to choose from? Especially if the cost per month is the same.

I don’t care about reality show such as Undercover Cake Makeover and Shotgun Marriage Court, silly sit-coms, or shopping channels. But yeah, can a service make enough money from subscribers who only want quality offerings?