AOL Streaming Deal Means More Competition for Netflix and Hulu
Let the late night and weekend binge screenings of Pulp Fiction, God Will Hunting, and The English Patient begin. For streaming services, it is more like The Hunger Games.
Just a day after Netflix (NASDAQ:NLFX) announced future price increases for new customers, AOL (NYSE:AOL) announced its deal to bring Miramax selections to its online channel, AOL On Network, starting next week. (No initial line-up has been announced as of Wednesday.) It is also the announcement of more serious competition for Netflix and Hulu in the streaming content business.
Online streaming video is becoming a pretty crowded field. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Apple, Amazon, and now AOL all provide movies (and television shows in the case of the first three) to viewers for a fee, either a monthly subscription, an a la carte rental fee per selection, or through advertising. Netflix and Hulu’s paywall-protected content are currently available for $7.99 a month, but Netflix’s prices are going to increase for new subscribers, the company announced Tuesday. Apple and portions of YouTube content can be purchased or rented to stream. Free selections on YouTube and Hulu operate through advertising. AOL’s new streaming service will operate under this model, meaning users streaming Pulp Fiction will see commercial breaks.
Another way the new streaming service will also be like its competitors is that AOL will also continue to produce its own original series. This move follows in the footsteps of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), which all produce original content.