Video Streaming Subscriptions
What is better? Wait… let me start over here. Is ownership with a one time price or a monthly subscription with a constant flux of entertainment a better option with internet based entertainment? I guess this is more of a subjective question with the person but these are really the two options unless you are just being sneaky and torrenting everything. So avoiding a potential FCC fine and jail time let’s just stay with the good old fashion paying for everything and focus on the technology of internet streaming and how the cloud is playing it’s part with your Saturday night stay at home date.
To take a major step to the left from where we are going, Darwin once wrote most famously, that only the strongest and most aptly fit to their surroundings will survive. While it takes a great deal of time to watch Darwin’s arguments of evolution in the natural realm it seems ever so clear this is how business works as well. With the recent death of the video rental store for the convenience of internet streaming and downloading we have seen the strongest survive with a society plugged into the internet. With Netflix, Hulu, Sony’s PSN store, Amazon Instant Videos, iTunes, and many on-demand internet television subscriptions it is easy for anyone with a simple internet connection to ignore the traditional means of watching the latest movie for instant access, with a few limitations.
With the most common internet streaming companies provide unlimited streaming data with a monthly or yearly subscription. Netflix and Hulu Plus are the most common companies that provide television and movies that have a month to month payment plan, while Amazon Instant Video comes with the yearly subscription to Amazon Prime. These companies have a similar process when it comes to activating an account.
Provide personal information
Choose the service options (if provided)
Check Internet Connection requirements
Provide credit card information
Begin streaming on shows and movies.
These are the most popular choice among most people because it is a simple subscription that is less than buying or renting a movie and you have the option to watch anything on the companies list of movies and television shows. On top of that you can watch what is provided to you at any time without having to pay another price on top of the month subscription. The only drawback is that you do not personally own the movies on your streaming account and a movie you may like a lot is subject to removal. Yet with the ever expanding cloud technology more and more films, and television shows are able to be placed on the company’s server giving you more options. Of course this isn’t news to even the most amateur of internet users, so we need to compare this option to a buy to own like ITunes or Sony’s option with the personal account cloud.
Pay as You Go:
Moving to the horse of a different color you have cloud operated downloaded purchases with outlets like Amazon Instant Video, Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN) store, and iTunes. This is either pay to purchase or rent but you do not have a monthly subscription option for unlimited access. Sure you have to give up all your personal information and credit card numbers once, so as you don’t have to be bothered every time you buy something, but the real question is how is it stored once you bought it. On iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, the PlayStation Network Store, and countless others are developing the technology to use the cloud for each of their customers. With that option, many believe hard copies will become a thing of the past. Regardless, once you:
Download the companies program
Submit private information for an account (including personal information and financial information)
Search for the content you want.
Pay the fee and the product will be uploaded to your device.
Then you own a digital copy of a movie that is stored on the companies cloud device. You can watch it whenever you like, and it doesn’t take up much hard drive space as it might if you downloaded the whole movie or television show to your devices hard drive. Of course once you own a film on the cloud it doesn’t mean much unless there is a simple way to pull the content up on a device and enjoy it. Cloud technology is an important step, but with one step you need to take another step so you aren’t off balanced.
When it comes to the growth of cloud technology the people behind this push for a wider reach need to understand the that general public wants only the minimal effort for it to catch on. People like to know what it does, but not how it works. Now in a cloud base technology website that may sound absurd but hear me out. For something to catch on by all people they need to know the basics so they can trust the technology and it operate it. If the cloud becomes too technical then it will be abandoned for easier tech. A perfect example of this would be how many people have made disparaging remarks about Windows 8 because it added a layer of complexity to the start up menu that most people didn’t want. I know many people who have Windows 8 and downgraded to have the straight forward startup screen they are custom to see. So when you use cloud base technology but do not have an easy method to upload your content then your company has a problem.
With most popular internet media companies this is not a problem, but sometimes the technology can become so impressive that it forgets about niche markets that can be an afterthought to a company’s main product. For instance Sony’s PlayStation Network is great for downloading the latest PlayStation 3 videogames. It is a simple click and it will download it to a folder straight into the sections labeled games. It is simple, it is sweet, and it is easy to use. Now with reports given to me from several different people I talked to wanting to download a television series or film, they found it to be slightly more difficult finding their product after they paid for it.
So which concept is more beneficial to use? Well that is more depended on your wants, and the company’s structure. I, myself, would be considered a hybrid as most of you would. I enjoy using both platforms, but only when the cloud technology isn’t a hindrance. Simplicity is the key to internet streaming movies and television series. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, and ITunes are the nest examples of this is the market, but the market will be shifting quickly. With Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One being released this year the demand for cloud technology will become even more apparent in today’s market of mass media. Both systems have implemented a strong backing of cloud technology for better processing power with the machine thus, more and more television and films will be placed on the cloud. So in the future we are excited to see how the cloud technology will be upgraded and how that might affect our society as a whole.
By Chris Kenealy