Price Hikes and the Streaming Class System
The Town with Matthew Belloni
Tue, October 10, 2023
Podchat Summary

Streaming Services and the Rising Cost of Ad-Free Streaming

In this episode, we delve into the increasing prices of streaming services and the impact it has on users. Over the past year, the cost of ad-free streaming has risen by approximately 25%, as streaming platforms aim to boost profits and steer users towards ad-supported tiers.

Netflix, one of the leading streaming services, is planning to raise prices once the actor strike comes to an end. This move is part of a strategy to create a two-tiered system, where ad-free streaming becomes a luxury for those who can afford it.

Disney+ recently faced backlash when it increased its annual subscription price from $80 to $140. This sudden price hike has caused some customers to reconsider their subscription and evaluate the value they receive.

The success of ad-supported tiers will heavily rely on customer satisfaction and the ability to offer a positive ad experience. Traditional media companies have an advantage in selling ads, while tech giants like Amazon and Apple may struggle to reach the necessary scale.

Looking ahead, the future of streaming services may involve bundling ad-supported tiers with traditional cable packages. This approach could reshape the industry and provide customers with more options.

While Netflix is unlikely to be bundled with other services due to its self-sustaining revenue model, the breakdown of its subscribers between ad-free and ad-supported tiers remains uncertain. However, as prices continue to rise, it is expected that more customers will opt for the ad-supported option.

The Uncertain Future of the Sphere in Las Vegas

In addition to the streaming service landscape, we also explore the potential impact of the Sphere, a new live entertainment venue in Las Vegas. This innovative venue has the power to revolutionize the concert business and create a new live interactive show experience.

Although the success of the Sphere is uncertain, it holds great promise and could change the way we experience live entertainment. Join us as we discuss the potential implications and possibilities this new venue brings to the table.

Original Show Notes
Matt is joined by Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw to discuss yet another round of price hikes for ad-free streaming services like Disney+ and Netflix, how the business is evolving to push people into the ad-supported tiers, the disappearance of the streaming middle class, how much these subscription prices could be, and more. Matt finishes the show by giving a prediction about the Sphere. For a 20 percent discount on Matt’s Hollywood insider newsletter, ‘What I’m Hearing ...,’ click here. Email us your thoughts! Host: Matt Belloni Guest: Lucas Shaw Producers: Craig Horlbeck and Jessie Lopez Theme Song: Devon Renaldo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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