Has The Market For Online Services Become Too Saturated?
It’s no secret within today’s modern world that the Internet and digital spaces have become vital to society’s operation. Gone are the days when people consumed media in physical forms such as CDs or DVDs; now it’s mostly done through online content libraries. This prominence of online services nonetheless raises an important point – has the market become too saturated over time?
There is a strong argument to suggest that this may well be the case. When it comes to video streaming services, for example, this sphere isn’t just limited to the more popular options such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, but also extends into others such as HBO Now and Hulu. Combined with this, even on Prime Video, there are further individual channels such as StarzPlay that each require a separate subscription on top of the Prime monthly charge.
This means that, where once people could have once purchased the content they wanted on physical media, the process now involves, for a movie like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, purchasing not only Prime Video for $7.99 a month and but also MGM for a further £4.49 per month to access just that one movie. In addition, when some providers have exclusive rights to certain shows, it means that the total expenditure for a household to be able to consume the shows they want increases pretty much exponentially as a result.
The same issue is prevalent in game streaming too, with it not only being the likes of Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now, but also others such as Xbox Game Pass. Such variety presents a dilemma for consumers, as each service will offer something different and cause people no-end of issues when it comes to which one they pick. As was the case with video streaming, the experiences with Stadia and Game Pass will be different due to the vast amount of games on offer in both libraries respectively. Even within Game Pass, much like Prime Video, there’s the option to add an EA Play subscription that gives players the option to access older EA titles such as previous iterations of FIFA and NHL. These are games that they could otherwise pick up on disc for next to nothing at pre-owned stores.
However, this issue of market saturation isn’t true in all instances. For example, industry examples within the online bingo sector, such as providers WDW Bingo, shows that this corner of online entertainment been largely free from market saturation despite its wide-reaching popularity. This means that providers are given some freedom to operate on a pay-to-play basis, unlike most streaming services. It would be wrong to say online bingo providers have it entirely easy however, especially given the platform’s constant striving to provide the best games possible which inherently breeds competition.
In some areas, such as video and game streaming, the market has become increasingly saturated and their barriers to entry have become rather high. However, in other areas such as online bingo, this doesn’t appear to be the case. The future may well see a change here, although there will always be a place for competition in digital industries.