Streaming TV Services are Hard – NBC’s Seeso Shutting Down

In the beginning there was Netflix, and God saw that this was good, so he made Hulu and Amazon Prime.

This might be the opening line in the bible of streaming services. Naturally, with the success of Netflix over the past decade, it makes sense that other services would want to jump into the ring and compete with these offerings. And certainly, the market of this brave new world can certainly support several streaming options, this is good for everyone, right? A little competition is a good thing.

But we might be witnessing the seams tearing a bit, with the news this week that NBC’s Seeso, a comedy standalone streaming service, shutting down after two years of operations. NBC was trying to offer the back catalog of their comedy library, paired with “web-only” comedy exclusives available only through the app. The good news is, some of the content on Seeso is being shopped around, so it’s possible that some cult fan favorites might get some new life on a new service/network.

It seems like just about every television network is jumping into the “exclusive access” streaming game, with Disney (owner of ESPN and ABC) announcing this week as well their plans to start several streaming services, as well as pull the plug on their relationship with Netflix. While the deal with Netflix will remain in place over the next year, expect several of your favorite titles to disappear in the coming 12 months.

We wouldn’t be surprised to see in the next 2-3 years a handful of new offerings crop up across the bigger networks. CBS All Access has been doing well, HBO’s standalone service is doing great, so there’s plenty of room for them. But what we’ll also be watching closely is more shut-downs and shuttering of these services. Consumers aren’t going to be willing to pay for more than 3-4 of these services by our estimations, so when there’s 10+ of them available, there will be winners and losers.

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