What streaming content wars? Billionaire sports mogul Mark Cuban says you’re getting it all wrong. Considering that content streamers such as Netflix, NBC, AT&T, HBO, Disney, and Apple have reportedly poured $2 billion into content in an attempt to win over subscribers, that might seem like a shocking conclusion. According to Cuban, however, there is a war raging, it’s just one of a different kind. Mark Cuban says,
“There is no streaming war. YouTube has more free content than all the pay streamers have in total. Yet streamers grow. There is a platform war that will be changed dramatically as people cut wired broadband for 5G over the next 5 – 7 years.”
Indeed, families may have grown dependent on the fact that they can pull up a free YouTube video for their kids to watch on-demand. The benefits are twofold, as it generally has the desired effect to satisfy an otherwise restless child and it’s free. As Cuban noted, “Try taking free YouTube away, ask any family with kids what would happen.”
Let’s start with a price breakdown of the content streamers, which unlike YouTube are not free. Here’s a breakdown of the content streamer monthly costs, as per data from The Wall Street Journal:
While they all come at the game with different price points, these content platforms share something in common, too. All of the hype for these providers is likely to spur demand for streaming in a way that we’ve not seen before. It will become a question of when, not if, consumers adopt a streaming content platform and of course which provider(s) they will choose. Mark Cuban explains:
“The reality is that original content streamers like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu all benefit from major new entrants. The marketing surge will push more people to streaming with the best content offerings leading the pack much like HBO led in premium TV channels.”
Cuban gives the edge to Netflix:
“IMO, the biggest edge NFLX has is their 4 character password approach encourages account sharing while charging for simultaneous usage. It’s the cheapest and best marketing available. I don’t see the big competitors being as lenient with their passwords.”
The problem with Netflix is that it is racking up massive amounts of debt acquiring content or developing shows on its own to keep up in a market it once held a monopoly on. Its rivals are similarly pouring money into original content, but with their massive balance sheets, they are barely breaking a sweat.
Of course, not all of Mark Cuban’s followers were thrilled to see him weigh in on the streaming content debate:
Whether it’s a streaming content war or a platform war, one thing is clear: the losers in all of this will be the lesser-known streaming providers (unless they are acquired) in addition to cable and satellite TV providers, unless they jump in on the streaming bandwagon like Comcast and some others have already done.
This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.