Who is winning the streaming war in 2020? The short answer is you and I, a.k.a. Joe and Josephine Public, the humble viewer, consumer, end user or client. Why, because as the war between the largest streaming giants and traditional entertainment and media corporations heats up, we the viewers benefit the more content becomes available.
Streaming – the continuous ‘stream’ of live or pre-recorded video and audio delivered in real time over the internet and watched simultaneously – has taken the world by storm for many reasons. Chief among these is the fact that streaming allows you to pick and choose what to watch, when to watch it and how much of it to watch at any time.
There are a bunch of live streaming options with Twitch being the standout
Streaming Gives You Freedom
So whether you only watch the occasional show or you like to binge watch the latest offerings as soon as they’re released, streaming gives you the freedom to do just that.
No longer do you have to wait a week to catch the latest instalment or have to buy the DVD box set of your favourite show from a few years ago. It’s now all online – you just need a streaming box, a high speed and reliable internet connection and a subscription to whichever streaming company has the particular content you want to access.
Streaming gives you an unprecedented selection of content including past and present TV shows, movies, sport events, documentaries, specials, new, live-streamed video games and even live-streamed online casino games. Even slots players have joined the action by live streaming themselves playing popular and high-paying virtual slots.
Twitch is the Preferred Streaming Platform for Online Casino Players
In fact, the preferred platform or streaming media for online casino players is Twitch, the live streaming video service operated by top Amazon subsidiary Twitch Interactive. Launched in 2011, Twitch started out life mainly as a video game streaming platform before it eventually evolved into the global ‘go to’ destination for online casino players.
This growing phenomenon of live streaming themselves while they play the latest and greatest online slots and other virtual casino games serves two purposes. The first is to give viewers the vicarious pleasure of watching them while they proceed to unlock the most high-paying and fun features, and turn modest balances into enviable windfalls.
The second is to show players how a particular slot game works. In other words their streams are just like tutorials in that they show players how to bet, how to change a bet, how betting levels work, what symbols they need to land to yield the biggest pay-outs, how to trigger the game’s bonus rounds and other rewarding features, and so on.
Why People Are Moving Over to Streaming
But the big question is why so many people are moving over to streaming. The answer is that streaming technology has many advantages over regular entertainment channels and formats. Here are just a few:
Streaming boxes are compact and relatively cheap, as are the subscriptions for many of the leading i.e. well-established streaming companies like Netflix, Hulu, HBO (Now and Go), YouTube TV, Amazon Prime Video, Twitch and many others.
You can watch whatever you like ‘on demand’ 24/7. You can also pause, rewind and with the exception of live-streamed content fast forward streamed content. You can watch what you like without worrying about your hard drive crashing.
Streaming technology has virtually eliminated the need for media players with hard drives. This is because you don’t need to record anything as it’s saved on a server elsewhere and available to you 24/7, 365 at the mere touch of a button.
You can binge watch TV like nobody’s business with streaming. If you’ve ever wanted to watch the entire first season of a TV show in a single sitting you can. Plus, most streaming platforms eliminate annoying commercials and credits.
You can stream content onto multiple platforms including desktop PCs, Apple Macs, laptops, notebooks, flat screen TVs, tablets and smart phones. This means you can watch streamed content from just about anywhere with the internet.
Disney and Apple Preparing to Enter the Streaming Fray
Until now the streaming ‘heavyweights’ have been Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, ESPN+, Hulu, fuboTV, Philo, YouTube TV, CBS All Access, HBO Now and Sling TV. However, that will likely change from late 2019 as traditional entertainment, media and technological giants like Disney and Apple dip their broad oars into this super lucrative stream.
It can be argued that there is plenty of streaming revenue to go around, so there’s little doubt that Disney+ (but don’t expect it anytime soon if you not in some major country) and Apple TV+’s offerings will eat into the market share of their long-established rivals. But the reason Disney and Apple have braved these turbulent waters is not just about diversifying and creating new revenue streams, but to stay relevant.
Netflix Has Won a Slew of Top Awards
As huge as Disney is with its theme parks, TV shows and films, streaming is changing the face of TV and film. For instance when Netflix started producing its own TV shows and feature films, nobody expected it in just a few short years to be nominated for and win a ton of Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards and Golden Globe Awards.
This year alone Netflix picked up golden statues for Roma – Best Picture, Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón), Best Actress (Yalitza Aparicio), Best Supporting Actress (Marina de Tavira) and Best Original Screenplay (Alfonso Cuarón) among others. It also won for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs for Adapted Screenplay (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen).
Steven Spielberg is Not a Fan of Netflix
In fact, many Hollywood ‘powerbrokers’ are incensed that a streaming company like Netflix is using its huge profits to produce original, and indeed award-winning content including director and producer Steven Spielberg. In March 2019 he stated that he sees what Netflix is doing as harming the “motion picture theatrical experience”.
Netflix responded with this brief yet sharp statement: “We love cinema. Here are some things we also love: Access for people who can’t always afford, or live in towns without, theatres; Letting everyone, everywhere enjoy releases at the same time; Giving filmmakers more ways to share art. These things are not mutually exclusive.”
But the fact is that streaming companies like Netflix that distribute and now produce content have many of got the major studios and media corporations running scared. That’s why most of them pay their top showrunners and creative staff the really big money to keep them put and from being headhunted by Netflix and their ilk.
Sit Back and Just be Entertained
As for you and I, all we have to do is sit back and let ourselves to be entertained by these firms as they clamour over each other to grab your attention and entertainment buck.