Allow me to recap, as I sometimes do , a few seemingly unrelated recent events in the world of streaming video:
ViacomCBS is planning to rebrand CBS All Access in early 2021 with a new name and more content. But as Decider’s Scott Porch reported this week , the network is shying away from any drastic changes. Showtime, BET+, and Noggin will still be separate streaming services, and new shows from cable channels such as Nickelodeon and Comedy Central won’t arrive on All Access (or whatever it’s called) until a year after they air on TV.
Disney will reroute its live action Mulan remake from theaters to Disney+, where it’ll cost $30 on top of the usual $7 per month subscription fee. This will be a purchase, not a rental, but customers will nonetheless lose access to the movie if they unsubscribe from Disney+.
NBCUniversal announced that its Peacock streaming service will carry all eight Harry Potter films in October , less than two months after they depart from HBO Max. But the films will only stay on Peacock for about a month, Vulture’s Josef Adalian reports , at which point they’ll head to NBC’s TV channels before returning to Peacock in 2021.
[ Further reading: The best streaming TV services ] If there’s a common thread here, it’s that everything is a mess. Instead of following the Netflix strategy—offer as much quality content as possible for as much money as people will tolerate—TV networks are implementing a hodgepodge of price tiers, add-ons, and content windows, all in hopes of winning over cord-cutters without shattering precious old business models. The result will be a phase of ugly experimentation as these companies figure out what they can get away with.
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