OTT Video Choices are Growing; So is Hassle

Buying over the top video subscriptions is getting more complicated, which is one reason why some argue new OTT bundles are going to emerge.

Heavier video consumers are going to find the cost of buying everything they want a la carte, one by one, is more expensive than choosing a “big” bundle and then augmenting with a specialized service or two.

At least so far, consumers who favor “live” television arguably remain better off buying a bundle, rather than aggregating single channels. For starters, many of those “high demand” channels are not yet available in any bundles, or on a stand-alone basis.

For many, that means sports. For a smaller number, that means news.

Consumers whose primary interests include movies and documentaries can do fairly well with the “new” bundles built by Netflix, for example. Some consumers with such interests might buy on a “video on demand” basis.

At least so far, though, video on demand has been far less popular than subscription services, judged by sales volumes. Consider only the matter of monthly cost. A month’s subscription to Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime (if a consumer never used the free shipping feature) is $8 to $9.

Depending on the content purchased on a video on demand basis, costs might range from 99 cents to $5 per title. It doesn’t take much VOD buying before that option is much more expensive than Netflix.

The new part of the buying matrix, though, is the availability of live television over the top, in a bundle in the $20 to $35 monthly range. Sony Playstation Vue costs about $50 to $70 a month, as it replicates the traditional cable TV bundle, offering perhaps 85 channels.
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