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Welcome to the Streaming wars – The new battle front

Streaming wars overview

Hold on to your breath.The streaming wars have just started and we are going to see a paradigm shift in the way leading giants are planning their strategic moves to consolidate their positions as a market leader.
The four leading players – Amazon, Apple, Disney and Netflix have done a series of moves lately in the ever changing streaming market.
Let us discuss how these moves would affect other players in the market.

Apple and Disney makes the first move in streaming wars

  • Apple and Disney has made the first move against its competitors Netflix and Amazon.These moves seems to be in the light of attracting subscribers to their respective services.
  • Apple has decided to launch its Apple TV+ service on November 1.With its launch a month ahead, Apple made the first move of removing Amazon prime video app from its app store.
  • Although the existing subscribers are still able to use Amazon prime video app, the app is no longer available in the Apple digital stores.
  • Even though, Amazon has told that this disappearance from the Apple digital stores is due to a technical glitch and the app would be available in the digital stores in the future, it still evokes a tension in competitive rivalry among the leading streaming players.
  • Meanwhile Disney has launched a strategic move of banning ads from Netfix across its selected television networks – ABC and ESPN.
  • The reason for this ban is because Disney is launching it’s own streaming service Disney+ at the same time Apple is making its streaming debut.

Effect of these Streaming Wars

  • If such moves continue to happen among the leading players, this could well prolong to a long battle which might result in doing more harm than good to all the players.
  • Google and Amazon were engaged in a similar bitter battle earlier, when Google banned Amazon Fire TV devices to download content from YouTube.In addition, Google also removed Amazon Prime video from its Chromecast suite of streaming devices.
  • This battle continued for a longer time and neither gained anything out of it.In the end, this cold war culminated into an amicable settlement in June 2019 that allowed devices to play each other content.

It is always the third party that gains in a rivalry

  • Like in any battle, it is always a lose – lose proposition for all the players involved and invariably a third party gains from this feud.
  • In the case of Google – Amazon feud, Roku ended up gaining the most.This is because Roku managed to remain neutral and hence was the only streaming option available in all the video services.
  • Due to its stand to remain neutral, Roku continues to dominate the market and could emerge victorious again if this cold war between Disney, Amazon, Netflix and Apple continues.

Apple and Disney have the first mover advantage in streaming wars

  • In this streaming wars, Apple and Disney may well start with an huge advantage.
  • Apple is offering is Apple TV+ service as pre-loaded with its millions of iPhones, iPads and other Apple devices.
  • Disney is having an advantage to weaponize its multimedia holdings and hence come up with plenty of power before the launch of its streaming services.

Conclusion

  • Apple and Disney may well look at learning a lesson or two from the long feud between Google and Amazon.
  • In this streaming wars, a better option would be to collaborate rather than segment the already fragmented streaming services market.
  • It would be hard to imagine Apple TV+ not available on Amazon Fire TV services or Netflix disappearing from Apple TV+; though it can well be a distinct possibility.


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