With the date locked in for Apple to make a big move in content services - predicted to be its own video streaming service to rival Netflix - there's a sense that the golden age of video streaming is dead.
Wind back a few years and the fuss of receiving a DVD or Blu-ray through the post was wiped out by the spread of Netflix. Thanks to the proliferation of increasingly fast broadband connections at home (initially) and then cheaper data services on mobile devices, having to wait to get your hands on a physical disc has become something of the past.
While we loved browsing the shelves of Blockbuster hoping there were enough copies of the latest movie to borrow (and coughing up fines for not rewinding VHS cassettes), being able to instantly access the content you wanted completely changed the market, putting convenience above ownership.
Netflix very much led the charge of this new streaming model, targeting the US before spreading its services more widely across the globe. It remains the favourite service of many: synchronised, cross-platform, supported by just about everything. It's the service to have and it has had some of the best content of the past few years - it's been incredibly simple to use.
As Netflix carved this path, others have grabbed their slice of the streaming pie, with Apple just the latest to join the party. Whether it will be cross-platform or not we don't know, but we do know that Apple has made moves to ensure its services work well with TVs, like those from Samsung.
Apple is joining the likes of Disney with the Disney+ streaming service, leveraging brands like Marvel and Star Wars, to become an exclusive portal for that content. WarnerMedia is also talking about creating its own service, joining the expanding range of services already out there.
So why has the golden age of video streaming come to an end when there's going to be more content accessible?
Because it's getting increasingly complicated. Disney will pull its content from Netflix to populate its new service, while all these services battle for the best content. Netflix has enjoyed a great run of Marvel TV series but will fans be happy to subscribe to another service to watch those on Disney+? Netflix has started with DC series too, but will those disappear into a DC Entertainment service once Netflix has built up the buzz? It's all starting to turn into a bit of a mess - too many cooks, too many kitchens.
While the growth of streaming services over the past few years has been exciting, 2019 is going to be a watershed moment. By the end of the year, it might not be less "Netflix and chill" and more "Netflix and jump through hoops" as you juggle subscriptions across services.
The next big break-through won't be another service coming online, it will be the one universal service that lets you just pick what you want to watch from any platform, pay one monthly fee, and make everything blissfully simple again.
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