Grasping at Nostalgia; The Growth of Streaming Services

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Mason Barish, Editor

This past week, Netflix announced that it had picked up the first two seasons of popular Nickelodeon show iCarly, which ended back in 2012. This was done in the wake of the announcement of the Paramount Plus which will have Nickelodeon shows on its service. The grab for iCarly represents a possible new precedent that may expand with many shows that could have been seen on Netflix or television networks in the past being picked up by their original owners or creators to be bundled into a streaming service. Netflix is currently the biggest streaming service in the world, followed by Amazon Prime, and while these are the largest services by far, Hulu has been trailing them from afar. The interesting thing is, Hulu is owned by Disney, who dropped Disney+ in November which has blown up to record numbers in terms of subscriptions. This huge market shift has been one of the biggest components for the most recent craze around streaming services and establishing them.


Disney’s streaming catalogue includes all of their current and future properties to stream for around 7 dollars a month at the time of this article, and it appears that they will be increasing that cost this March. Their huge catalog of shows and movies including anything from Marvel to their classic animated movies has led to the insane numbers that have been rolling in from the service. This could be the possible explanation as to why Paramount Plus(owned by Viacom) and other streaming services have been cropping up, like PeacockTV or HBO Max(owned by Comcast/NBC and AT&T respectively). All of these companies which have putting out these shows now realize that they could capitalize off of those that still want to watch those old shows that they loved as kids or those who never got the chance of watching the shows fully, and that Netflix or Amazon don’t entirely own the licensing of the shows and that they could convert all of their properties into a streaming service, the exact same way Disney had done in order to do what Paramount Studios is now doing. 


It is not a bad thing for there to be such a shift in the entertainment market, but it is interesting to think about how these rose-tinted glasses of ours may be allowing many of these companies to get out of creating something new and instead selling us back what we’ve already seen. Cable has been on a decline and streaming has been rising for quite some time, and it is a good sign that Netflix and Amazon Prime have been putting out new, original, and solid content. Disney+ has also followed suit by introducing long lines of original shows based on many Marvel properties. This gives hope to the future that great and innovative entertainment will still be produced, but I will still be wary of the possibility that many companies find it easier to repackage all these properties you know and love and sell them back to you giving you less than what cable ever gave. Eventually it’s going to be normal for everyone to have subscriptions to multiple streaming services which will accomplish the same goals as cable packages and bundles. In fact, it’s already being done with a bundle by Disney that includes Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN. The rise of streaming services has led to cable’s downturn. Most of what cable offers can now be put into a streaming service where you can watch any episode from whatever series you want without having to worry about scheduling or recording it. The instant access that streaming services provide is unparalleled and far too valuable for many to give up now, and it makes sense.


There is no issue paying for what you want, but it’s good to hope for new properties and different ideas from all around because it gives more people the chance to share their creativity rather than rehashing or repackaging an old show people are fond of.