On April 20, Tech Times compares the three major commercial streaming services: Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. Commercial streaming services are giving traditional network TV increasing challenges, especially as traditional TV has fewer and fewer options for worthwhile, family-friendly, and socially responsible programming.
Dr. Ted Baehr in a recent Movieguide® article has referenced the Parent Television Council’s (PTC) “massive and well-researched” study and states that it “…shows that the number of primetime appropriate for all audiences ‘TV-G’ programs has decreased from 27 hours in a two week period in 1997 to Zero hours in 2014. It also shows that, from 1997 to 2014, there was a 38 percent decrease in the number of hours networks aired TV-PG programming. Finally, the study shows that the amount and intensity of obscene, sexual and violent programming has increased dramatically.”
Although major streaming companies (Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon) are not devoid of salacious content, they offer more options for worthwhile, family-friendly, and socially responsible programming, especially as viewers actively give the companies feedback on which shows are worth maintaining and which should be eliminated. New streaming services and options are dynamically emerging with ongoing new developments and consumer options.
The Associated Press (AP) out New York recently reported breaking news that “Amazon is taking on Netflix and Hulu with its own stand-alone video streaming service, just weeks before Netflix raises prices for longtime subscribers.” New customers now have the option to pay $8.99 a month to watch Amazon’s Prime video streaming service. Previously, the only way to watch Amazon’s videos was to pay the $99 membership fee for Prime membership that also includes free two-day shipping.
With the $9 a month stand-alone streaming service fee Amazon charges $1 less than Netflix’s standard membership and $1 more than Hulu’s basic subscription fee. Netflix has reported earlier this year its members, who have been paying $8 a month, will now pay an additional $2 starting in May. One unique feature of Hulu is that users can watch many current TV episodes a day after. The AP reports that on April 18 shares of Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc. gained $9.46 to close at $635.35, while Netflix Inc.’s stock declined $3.11 to close at $108.40, plunging by more than 7 percent in extended trading after the company’s management issued a disappointing forecast for subscriber growth.
Not only do streaming services give consumers more options in worthwhile programming choices, but such services give consumers more control of their viewing schedule, more commercial-free viewing, and more opportunities for feedback with consumer review and ratings tools. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says, “… the future is Internet TV.” Thankfully, socially responsible consumers are currently better served with the developing streaming options than by traditional TV. These streaming services offer consumers more control, which along with good online review services, can lead to better viewing.