There have been a lot of developments in the last 12 months when it comes to streaming TV services.
Netflix and, to some extent, Amazon Prime have been the long-established major players in this area are likely to face competition from newcomers and beefed up streaming offerings from established broadcasters in the near future.
Apple TV has announced its ‘plus’ service which, it says, will put quality over quantity with commissions from big names including Steven Spielberg.
The BBC has just paid £180m as part of a carve-up of its UKTV joint-venture with Discovery - giving the public service broadcaster full ownership of UKTV’s Alibi, Dave, Drama, Eden, Gold, Yesterday and W channels. It is thought that its eagerness to pay top dollar for the channels is less about seven channels and three freeview slots and more about taking back control of the streaming rights to the BBC programmes on UKTV Play.
It has, of course, just announced plans to launch a UK version of ‘Britbox’, its North American streaming service and joint venture with ITV. It’s unlikely that these two developments are unrelated.
And now, enter Disney+, complete with back-catalogue material from Pixar, Marvel, Lucas Film - far from a Mickey Mouse offering.
Last year Disney was locked into a battle with Comcast over Sky TV. It lost to the NBC-owner by auction, but it’s thought that the main driver in that bidding war was programme rights and technologies. Something Sky has in abundance.
So, despite all this activity and investment in new streaming services - is the market already saturated and will these new services be able to gain a foot-hold?