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Evolution of Platforms

Evolution of Platforms

Evolution of platforms refers to the changing standards and expectations for broadcasting and media distribution.

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Amy Tomlinson Gayle
Amy Tomlinson Gayle edited on 22 Jun, 2021
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This has led to an explosion of over 300 streaming services available in the United States alone, and offers a model where platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, which offer original content and also work as super aggregators of other content, compete more successfully. As well, theThe length of time a streaming service has been in the market does not necessarily indicate success. Amazon Prime launched in 2006, Netflix launched its streaming-only service in 2007, and Hulu launched in 2007; two of those platforms have continued to see growth, while Hulu has become a subsidiary of the more successful Disney Plus.


The increase in streaming services offered has not directly correlated towith an increase in streaming service subscriptions. Despite thereThere beingare over 300 streaming platforms, and on average, Americans subscribe to three paid streaming services, representing an average cost of $37 per month in subscription fees. This is a large jump from 2017, which saw the majority of Americans subscribed to a single service, which was overwhelmingly Netflix. Incumbency can be important, as the burnout on streaming services has seen once-hyped services, such as Quibi, struggle and ultimately fail, and even services such as Disney Plus, needing to rely on wide availability on rollout and a strong back catalogback-catalog of content to compete. But theThe oneclear thing the platforms have shown is that moving forward, streaming services seem to be where consumers and the industry are headed.


This personalization has offered viewers a chance to pay for content they wish to see, without the need to pay for superfluous content such as that provided by cable packages. And oneOne way television could continue to compete with streaming platforms would be through offering personalized cable packages whichthat would allow consumers to receive the channels they want, without the channels they do not want. As well, television could work to integrate similar viewer data, beyond the traditional metric of views, to create more personalized choices and recommendations for channels and programs. Furthermore, automation and artificial intelligence could be integrated into traditional viewing experiences to give viewers more contextual data and a chance to interact with a programming. For example, in a weather broadcast, the use of data and artificial intelligence could provide more contextual data based on a viewersviewer's actual, rather than approximate, location, and could be updated in minutes, rather than each hour.


As streaming has become more successful and more popular, and the services have developed more content and more interest, there has been a proliferation and, some suggest, an oversaturation of the streaming market, which,. despiteDespite the COVID-19 pandemic seeingshowing an increase in screen time and an increase in streaming services subscribers to streaming services, there have been concerns that streaming services could begin to crash in on themselves. Early suggestions of this came from the cancellation of cult favorite shows on Netflix and Hulu (One Day at a Time and The First, respectively), which were the kind of shows streaming services could support as there was not competition for time slots whichthat would lead to low viewership shows being cancelled.


These cancellations were due, in part, to licensing and exclusivity deals, with One Day at a Time produced by Sony Picture Television, and not Netflix, and therefore costing more than it could be deemed to be worth in viewership. Another example was the fight on the part of Netflix to keep the television show Friends, which led the streaming service to pay $100 million to keep the sitcom on the site,; but the deal was not a non-exclusive deal, allowing WarnerMedia, the showsshow's rights owners, to shop the show around to other streaming services. This kind of proliferation can lead to multiple services and platforms offering the same shows and undercut the competitive positions of the streaming platforms, while benefiting the cable networks and original producers of the content.


Furthermore, the streaming servicesservice landscape is beginning to grow in a resemblance of the plethora of channels, with each broadcaster or cable provider offering their own streaming service, similar to Disney Plus or HBO Max, or NBC Peacock, but extended to TNT or TBT or CW. Although oversaturation in the market would depend on the technological availability and the geographical availability of these services, in the United States it would lead to an increase in saturation which could push the market towards television, where the relative cost of multiple channels could be less than streaming services, and especially if those channel packages were able to be personalized, or it could lead to greater market domination by the more widely adopted streaming services.



From 2018 to 2019, 4 million households drop their cable subscriptions. In the same time, houses without pay TV increase from 36 million to 40.2 million,; and this does not capture the amount of those who will never subscribe for pay TV.


Netflix expands to a total of 190 countries with programming in 21twenty-one languages.

May 2011

YouTube launches a video on demandvideo-on-demand rental service, further competing with other digital streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.

August 16, 2010

Hulu is reported to be planning an IPO, which could value the company at more than $2 billion.


YouTube signs a deal with the Indian Premier League to make 60sixty league cricket matches available on YouTube's IPL channel and attracting 50 million viewers worldwide.

October 2009

YouTube announces that it is has surpassed 1 billion views a day and has more than 20twenty hours of video being uploaded every minute.


Amazon launches their video on demandvideo-on-demand service, later named Amazon Prime Video, to compete against Netflix and cable TV video on demand services.


YouTube partners with CNN to host presidential debate during the election cycle, featuring video questions submitted to the public. In the same year, 7seven of 16sixteen presidential candidates announce their campaigns on YouTube.


Netflix debuts the company's streaming service, called "Watch Now," which allows subscribers to watch a movie or television show on their computercomputers.
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