I wish there was a company that allowed me to watch all the movies that I want to watch

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

The movie industry is one of those markets where the interests of customers are the exact opposite of the interests of the corporations. Whereas every person would like a service that would let them watch all the good movies, in exchange for some appropriate fee, that would, by definition, mean treating movies as if they were a commodity, and this is exactly what the creators of movies hope to avoid. So we get an increasing number of streaming services.

The only company that made the attempt to offer what customers wanted was Netflix, back in its early days, before 2010. Since 2010, Netflix has been focused on getting exclusive content, or creating exclusive content.

In the 1990s, I was happy with Blockbuster, and the occasional independent video store. I eventually signed up for Netflix. For years, I was stubborn about only needing Netflix. Then a friend came to visit and she insisted that I had to watch the show Silicon Valley, and we could get it via a Amazon Prime membership, which I’d had but let lapse, and now I signed up for it again, and we paid extra for Silicon Valley.

Then I was traveling and I stayed at a hotel that had HBO, and I saw Em and Doll, and I wanted to see more of it with a friend, so my friend came to visit and so I signed up for HBO Now.

I plan to cancel my HBO membership as soon as my friend leaves. I don’t have time to watch many movies, so it is crazy for me to have 2 or 3 movie streaming services. I have 254 movies in my DVD queue at Netflix and I will probably never see all of them, so why should I get an additional service?

But the interests of the corporations are the opposite of what the customers want, and so I read about Disney further fragmenting the market:

Disney has therefore paid a stunning $1.58 billion to acquire majority ownership of the digital media company BAMTech, which will provide the resources for Disney to make its own streaming service by 2019 that will be the streaming home to new Disney films like the upcoming Toy Story 4 and Frozen 2, along with original, platform-specific content. There are also plans for an ESPN-specific streaming service, launching in 2018, that will offer “10,000 live regional, national, and international games and events a year.” Disney CEO Bob Iger explained the move to CNBC as a logical step that “represents a big strategic shift.”

Netflix, meanwhile, released its own statement to The Verge to reassure its customers that they have a couple of years yet to worry about losing their access to Disney titles, and that they shouldn’t panic about Marvel shows disappearing:

US Netflix members will have access to Disney films on the service through the end of 2019, including all new films that are shown theatrically through the end of 2018. We continue to do business with the Walt Disney Company on many fronts, including our ongoing deal with Marvel TV.

So, no, you don’t have to squeeze in your Moana viewings immediately. But there will indeed be yet another streaming service with even more new TV shows to keep track of soon enough.

This is terrible for consumers, but I get that it is a smart move for Disney, it gives them more leverage and allows them to raise prices.

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