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Bundling Is the Streaming Future

My husband recently asked me if we should keep our Discovery+ subscription. We’d gotten it through some sort of free trial and that trial was up. Having perused the content and watched a little, I said, “No. That will be combined with HBO Max soon.”

Indeed. That’s what every streaming subscriber is looking for, a combination of the streaming services that allows them to find what they want and get what they want for a reasonable price. When asked about whether bundled streaming services might make it easier for consumers to find the content they are seeking, 64% of respondents in a Nielsen survey indicated they wished there was a bundled video streaming service that would allow them to choose as few or as many video streaming services as they wanted.

“Consumers want access simplified and the explosion of services has renewed discussions around bundling and aggregation,” said Brian Fuhrer, SVP of product strategy at Nielsen.

Another problem with distinct services is that none of the services that I subscribe to really get me. They offer up recommendations based only on stuff I watch on their service. My mom once lamented that Netflix offered her only depressing dramas after she watched a few.

“I like to laugh, too!” she said.

A recent study conducted by Accenture based on data from users of Whip Media’s TV Time app found significant dissatisfaction with streaming recommendations and content discovery:

  • 36% of consumers said that they were somewhat dissatisfied with the personalization of content they get from video-on-demand services; 
  • 67% of consumers said they find it frustrating to find something that they want to watch;
  • 56% said that the recommendations they receive are not relevant to their interests; and
  • Over half (56%) said they would like to be able to take their profile from one service to another to achieve better personalization.

 

Significantly, the study found fans of a particular show, say “Star Trek,” may not watch the same types of shows on streaming services that offer other content. A particular streaming service thus has a skewed view of its audience. “Star Trek” viewers might like to laugh, too.

So, not only do viewers want to bundle services, but they’d like those services to bundle their preferences to offer up more of what they like to view.

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Having a single entity know all about my preferences, what I watch and what I want to watch, rings a little of 1984 to me. Still, that’s where things already seem to be going. The home page on my smart TV helps create a catalog of sorts for the many streaming services I subscribe to (at least the ones the corporate parent has deals with) and devices such as Roku and Apple TV can do the same thing. But I still find myself having to Google a program to find the service it’s on, and I don’t think my TV knows exactly what I’m watching on each service or what I might want to watch.

Do I really want it to?

Meanwhile, I shudder every time my smart TV (with all my passwords and services loaded) looks like it might go on the fritz.

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