By Adanna M., age 17
Movies today have never been more accessible in the history of cinema. When the first films premiered in the late nineteenth century, they could only be watched in public theaters. When VHS technology was invented a century later, followed by DVDs, people could enjoy their favorite movies in their own homes whenever they wished. Now with on-demand video streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+, people have access to thousands of movies and TV shows with just the tap of their fingers. But even now there is a major issue with this model. Why have to constantly switch apps when they can be condensed into one? If I had the means, I would create an app that would consolidate all of a consumer’s video streaming platforms into one place.
This seemingly small issue is more relevant than most would think. According to Statista.com, video streaming in the United States is expected to rake in 13 billion dollars of revenue by 2024, and there are approximately 121.7 million users today (“Video”). Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime are the top players, and they all made up seventy percent of video streaming revenue in 2018 (“Video”). The increasingly popular platforms work like this: For a monthly fee, users have 24/7 access to the platform’s video catalogue, which includes thousands of films and TV shows. Even with these innovations there is still a problem. These independent video streaming platforms can only stream some films and TV shows for a certain duration due to limited streaming rights; no one streaming platform offers access to the majority of movies and TV shows like video rental stores once did. Since studios tend to only grant streaming rights to one platform at a time, these streaming platforms often showcase completely different catalogues, and consumers usually subscribe to more than one streaming platform for broader access. This seems like a satisfactory solution, but it could be vastly improved if all of one’s video streaming subscriptions were in the same place.
The best solution would be a third party app that would facilitate switching between platforms: StreamEasy. Consumers would link their video streaming subscriptions to the StreamEasy application, thus creating their own personal catalogue. When using this app, consumers could look for titles on different services simultaneously rather than search for the same movie on different apps to check its availability. Instead of switching back and forth from three, four, or sometimes five different apps, one’s favorite movies and TV shows would be all in the same place. But another issue arises: What is the incentive for streaming giants like Netflix and Hulu to allow a third party app to take over? To solve this, every time a movie or a TV show originally supported by a company’s platform is streamed, it would earn a percentage of StreamEasy’s revenue from that stream, ensuring that the benefits would outweigh the costs.
Overall, the concept is simple yet profitable in an era that prioritizes convenience above all else. With the advent of digital services like DoorDash, which facilitates food delivery from nearby restaurants, and Uber, a car hailing app, it is clear that modern society is looking out for the next “most convenient” thing. StreamEasy in particular would allow consumers to save a few seconds from constantly switching between platforms. Also, organizing all of one’s subscriptions into one place rather than dividing them up into different apps would give an illusion that consumers have access to more films and television shows, leading them to exploring and streaming even more titles even if they still had the same amount of movies. StreamEasy could get so popular that streaming platforms could transition away from their own apps and be entirely supported by StreamEasy, thus freeing up app maintenance costs in order to purchase more streaming rights from production companies and to showcase more content.
The concept of StreamEasy illustrates that solving a seemingly small problem that was barely noticeable can lead to huge payoffs in the future. In a fast-paced, entertainment-hungry world, StreamEasy’s simplicity lies in saving the average consumers from just a few clicks. Now apparently, that makes all of the difference.
“Video Streaming (SVoD).” Statista, www.statista.com/outlook/206/109/video-streaming–svod-/united-states. Accessed 30 Apr. 2020.