As someone who doesn't watch a lot of traditional television, I celebrated when streaming services came along.
Subscription services like Hulu and Netflix allow me to watch most TV shows on any of my devices whenever I have the time. But I missed live sports and news, so I still pay a monthly cable bill along with my $10.99 Netflix and $7.99 Hulu subscriptions. And I still miss out on a few shows I'd like to watch because I don't want to pay for even more services like HBO Now or CBS All Access.
With new streaming options launching in 2019, consumers will have to dig deep to decide what content they are willing to pay for and how much content they can realistically consume. Even "Saturday Night Live" has made fun of the massive amount of content on Netflix.
The big streaming service I won't be able to live without is Disney+, which launches late next year. You may be watching some Disney favorites on Netflix right now, but that contract ends soon, and Disney will be keeping its product all to itself. CEO of the Walt Disney Company Bob Iger spoke earlier this year about how all the movies the studio is releasing in 2019 will afterward be available only on its streaming service. So the new Avengers movie, "Frozen 2," "Toy Story 4" and the live-action films "The Lion King," "Aladdin" and "Dumbo" will be exclusive to Disney+ for streaming.
Cinemablend reported that Iger has said the cost of Disney+ will be less than Netflix. "We are going to be in the business of less volume, but more branded product," he said, comparing Disney+ to Netflix.
The app will have original content too, including a live-action "Star Wars" series following the adventures of Rebel spy Cassian Andor, a "High School Musical"-set show, and a live-action series centered around Marvel's Loki, starring Tom Hiddleston.
Another new offering I'm anxiously anticipating is Apple's yet-to-be-named streaming service. In large part, my enthusiasm comes from word that it will come free, pre-installed on new Apple iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs, according to CNBC. There will reportedly be subscription channels like HBO and Starz, but Apple's original content is said to be fairly PG-rated so as not to run into complaints when it suddenly appears on everyone's iPhones. Apple has already announced a partnership with Oprah Winfrey to create original programming, and Variety has reported Apple's first scripted series is a revival of the 1980s Steven Spielberg show "Amazing Stories." No title yet for this reboot, but an Apple drama about a TV morning show will star Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.
WarnerMedia will launch a new service late in 2019 that will include HBO. CNN reported that beyond films, Warner Bros. television shows like "ER" and "The Big Bang Theory" could also appear on the streaming service.
MGM has partnered with Walmart to create original content for its Vudu streaming service, according to Reuters. Vudu currently offers more than 100,000 free movies and TV shows, as well as others to buy or rent.
In addition to these upcoming streaming services, a new launch this fall came from DC Universe, costing $74.99 per year or $7.99 per month. The DC Universe subscription has access to several original DC series like the live-action show "Titans," with new episodes every week. The service also offers DC animated movies, legendary films like the original "Superman" and the Wonder Woman TV series. For comic book fans, a feature on the service allows users to read comic books right on their TVs, in HD.
With so many options for consuming entertainment, it'll take some number-crunching to figure out which services we can't live without and still stay on budget. Happy streaming.