During the pandemic, oh how we binged. With life on hold and nowhere to go, we feasted on Netflix shows. For a while, it was like the old days when everyone watched Seinfeld and talked about it with friends.
By now, I’ve seen all the good shows and rarely see anything worth sharing. Whenever I find a cool series, my friends either haven’t seen it or are already watching Season 3. Our TV habits have fragmented, so the conversation ends there.
Watching TV has become a siloed experience and we’ve lost that shared sense of community.
Then there’s the confusion factor. With no TV Guide to find good shows, it’s hard to know whether a show was on HBO Max or HBO. It’s compounded by mergers and cross-promotional offers. Subscribe to Starz and get HULU for free. Join Verizon and get Disney+ (until they start charging you without warning).
More choices, more chaos and more to come.
Here’s my take. There’s been a lot of hoopla about Netflix’s subscriber drop off…right after a rate hike. But the reality is that we’re loyal to shows, not networks. We’ll subscribe for a month, binge like crazy, then cancel without flinching.
For the moment, we’ve gobbled up all the good Netflix shows (and scoured the other networks). So, the streaming pond seems fished-out. But it’s nothing that a few hit shows can’t cure.
The bigger concern is that the best TV shows are sprinkled over several streaming networks – and few of us can afford them all. So, what we really need is an a la carte option. A streaming plan that allows viewers to pay one fee and cherry pick shows we like, regardless of the network. Kinda like the cable TV model.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.