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The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

Streaming services have taken over regular networks

Photo by Netta Hillegass
Sophomore Ava Wilmes loads up Netflix. The growing accessibility to shows allows her to watch anywhere.

Streaming services have been on the rise since the debut of Netflix. All students can talk about is “this show, that show, do you have this service?” As of today, most homes have at least one streaming service paid for each month to keep up on the latest TV shows or movies. 

In 1998, Netflix started its company sending out DVDs of movies and shows allowing one to launch their website, rent a movie, and later get it in their mail. In 2002, Redbox jumped on this opportunity, though instead of having a website-based company, Redbox had in-person boxes to rent and return movies.

Later, Netflix explored the option of online streaming instead of sending out hard copies. In 2008, other companies started to tag along beginning with Hulu. Hulu started streaming, and the avalanche of streaming services grew into the services we know so well today. 

Many people and families spend up to $140 per year on a single streaming service. That’s $8.25-11.67 monthly if they only get one service. Many households pay for at least four streaming services per month, which can end up being $33 monthly.  Many students are not the ones to pay, and reactions to the expense of their preferred services were other than positive.

“a lot of kids spend too much time, but for this… no more than $15 a month because that is an insane price,” junior Noah Wold said. 

So far Netflix has been the only company to make major profits from their streaming service. Just last year, Netflix ended up making around $33 billion over the 12 months of 2023. That same year Disney Plus made a fraction of that ending up with $8.4 billion.

Most students only go to other services besides Netflix for shows made by that studio, while Netflix tends to have rights to classic movies or movies not made by themselves. Junior Makenzie Sagel, commented, ” Netflix has improved as a company throughout the years… finding shows most people want to watch,” so without that experience, it is expected that the other companies would be behind in profits.

I feel it’s a little ridiculous that I pay for a streaming service… and I still have to watch advertisements.

— Noah Wold

Streaming services alike Amazon Video, Netflix and Peacock, have created a cheaper option by reducing the price substantially. This contains ads on their service, resulting in a cheaper overall cost per household, allowing each household to gain access to more services for less.

However, many do not appreciate this option. “I feel it’s a little ridiculous that I pay for a streaming service… and I still have to watch advertisements I feel it’s a little ridiculous that I pay for a streaming service… and I still have to watch advertisements,” Wold said. While others appreciate the cheaper option, watching the ads if it meant they could have more streaming services.

Many streaming services have found that they could increase the price per user of the account or outer household user. Netflix itself has added an $8 increase per person to add one or more people to use the account paid for. Countless people fall into this category, they end up using their extended family’s accounts to lower costs but restrictions make it difficult to arrange. Makenzie added that even with the cheaper options their services would be up to $20 a month.

Another problem that has come up with more streaming services across the globe is licensing. Many services that do not stream their content have licensing issues with different countries making it unavailable in some countries while streaming in others.

This makes it so many people have to pay for a VPN if they wish to watch some of their favorite shows. Junior Ellery Larson wishes they would make the shows more available for people without a way of changing their online location.

Overall, streaming has changed from year to year. Giving everyday people access to more and more entertainment. With this comes a price, one in four households spends $75 or more on streaming services every month, reaching an all-time high due to the need for more than one service.

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About the Contributor
Netta Hillegass
Netta Hillegass, Broadcast Field Reporter
My name is Netta Hillegass, I am a junior and I am on the broadcast team as a field reporter. I am in the Varsity Orchestra, I am a cat person, and I tend to draw in my free time.   

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