STREAMING SATURDAY: Too Many Streaming Services Flooding the Market

As existing streaming providers continue to evolve, more companies are releasing their streaming services. But how much is too much streaming?

Streaming is experiencing a population boom as of late. More companies are releasing brand new streaming services while popular channels are getting into the game as well. While streaming continues to be an excellent way to get your favorite entertainment at home, the market is dangerously close to being over-saturated with all these options. Here’s a look at the new streaming services headed our way just this week.

Comcast Instant TV Streaming Service
Comcast, the company with one of the worst reputations for customer service, is getting into the streaming game. Comcast’s internet-only customers can subscribe to Instant TV, the cable giant’s live TV streaming service. Current customers can enjoy the basic package for just $18/month.  This gets you your local broadcast networks streamed to two devices at once. The service’s DVR capabilities allow you to store up to 20 hours of HD programming with your cloud DVR.

The problem with Instant TV is how quickly its rates go up once you start adding channels. For example, Comcast’s sports and new package costs an additional $30/month, and its entertainment package is another $15/month. If you have children, you’ll be paying another $10/month for stations such as Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, and more. Perhaps this is why Comcast wants to hook customers with a 30-day free trial for this live TV streaming service.

Evolution Digital’s Cable Streaming Services
Evolution Digital is adding to the crowding that modern streaming services are becoming. The company recently announced its eVue-NOW! service. This will help small cable companies create individual live TV streaming services to launch on iOS, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, and Android mobile devices. Evolution officials expect to include DVR capabilities as well as the ability to pause, rewind, and fast-forward live TV. No dates have been set as to which cable companies will be the first to utilize this system.

Hallmark Streaming Services
The Hallmark Channel is launching its Hallmark Movies streaming service this month. It’s set to replace Hallmark’s Feeln channel. Hallmark Movies will cost $5.99/month or $59.99/year and is available on iOS, Android, Roku, and Fire TV. The streaming service offers more than 800 hours of family-friendly content that’s not available on current Hallmark channels. While Hallmark Movies has the same monthly price as Feeln, its annual cost is $24 higher.

Spectrum TV Stream
If you have Spectrum internet, you can enjoy its TV Stream service for $19.95/month with no long-term contracts. The company’s streaming package includes local stations suh as PBS as well as channels such as A&E, Hallmark, History, FX, TLC, and more. Spectrum TV Stream also gives you access to 5,000 free on-demand titles and several network apps.

For an additional $15/month, users can add HBO, Showtime, The Movie Channel, Starz, and StarzEncore. If you want just one of these premium channels, you can get it for $7.50 under a three-year agreement. An additional $12/month gets you ESPN channels, NBC Sports, Bloomberg, HLB, and more. Like other up-and-coming streaming services, the cost keeps getting higher as you keep adding channels.

The State of Streaming…
So how much streaming is too much streaming? We might be coming close to that maximum capacity now. These services don’t seem like they’re an improvement over cable let alone the top streaming channels that already have a strong market presence. In some cases, it seems little better than basic cable, and to add anything more becomes a money pit. My bigger issue is that the streaming space is already a crowded one. The presumed poor quality of some of these services could negatively affect the public’s perception of streaming. This might hurt the future growth of all streaming services. I suppose only time will tell.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.