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Rising prices are slowing the growth of streaming television

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Canadians have changed the way they watch their favorite series with the birth of platforms such as Netflix. (Archive photo)

The Canadian Press

Streaming television may have changed the way Canadians watch their favorite series, but the increase prices slowed its growth.

Over the past year, almost all platforms offering streaming video have increased subscription costs.

This increase is reflected in different ways. Like some companies, Apple TV Plus simply increased the price of the monthly subscription.

According to a study by Convergence Research Group, an organization in Victoria, British Columbia, the subscription price of the ten most popular platforms increased by an average of 12% per year in 2022 and 2023.

Nothing indicates a turnaround in the situation in 2024, according to experts.

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Others like Crave or Disney Plus have taken a different route. They offer packages containing commercial breaks at a lower cost in hopes of attracting a more thrifty customer.

Carmi Levy, a technology expert, says this new reality demonstrates that streaming content has lost its luster. Several subscribers complain that their bill increasingly resembles that of their former cable broadcaster.

Weary about prices rising above the already high rate of inflation is starting to catch up with the initial fever. Reality begins to prevail.

A quote from An expert in technological means, Carmi Levy

Experts predict that Canadians will increasingly consider subscribing to the least expensive packages, even if it means enduring commercial breaks. Free services like Pluto TV and Tubi could acquire a greater market share.

Customers have an increasingly negative perception of the platforms, according to data from a German firm, Statista.

In a global survey conducted in mid-2022, Statista asked consumers why they unsubscribed from their streaming video service. Among respondents, 28% said they were paying for too many services, while 25% said the subscription cost was too high.

Wanting to reduce their expenses, several companies preferred to eliminate less popular series or films on their platform. They can save money by avoiding paying royalties on works less watched by customers.

For example, Disney plus has erased certain failures such as series < em>Willow or The Mighty Ducks : a new power play. Paramount Plus has removed the musical series Grease : Rise of the Pink Ladies.

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A scene from the first film “Power Play” with Emilio Estevez in 1992. (Archive photo)

Companies also try to obtain exclusivities. In Canada, some have shaken up their programming in order to obtain exclusive rights to already popular series in order to attract customers from their competitors.

The CBC notably withdrew the rights to the series Welcome to Schitt's Creek and Kim's Convenience from Netflix and Prime Video to present them only on its own CBC Gem service.

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Actresses Annie Murphy and Catherine O'Hara and actors Eugene Levy and Danel Levy in the series “Welcome to Schitt’s Creek.” (File photo)

Paramount Plus launched an advertising campaign to announce that it had exclusive rights to the television series Yellowstone and South Park after taking them away from its competitors. The intermediary also ended a partnership with Crave for Showtimes broadcasts.

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The American television series “South Park” began its 26th season in March 2023. (File photo)

With the exception of Apple TV Plus, the biggest platforms rely on an old business model: selling time to advertisers.

The attitude toward commercial breaks, long considered old-fashioned, has become friendlier over the past two years.

Former Netflix Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings was so irritated by the very idea of ​​advertising that he swore to investors that it would never be part of his company. He changed his mind at the end of 2022 when Netflix launched a cheaper package.

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Reed Hastings, co-founder of Netflix. (File photo)

It only took a few months for Disney Plus or Crave to follow suit. Prime Video and Paramount Plus intend to follow suit in early 2024.

People think always depending on their portfolio. It makes sense to me that people are willing to endure ads if they allow them to see their shows for 40% to 50% less.

A quote from Convergence Research Group President Brahm Eiley

He points out that commercial breaks are much shorter on the platforms than on conventional television. The former broadcast less than 10 minutes of ads while the latter present around 20 minutes. But for how much longer?

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