Chances are, you’ve used at least one of the “Big Three” in video streaming: Amazon Instant Video, Netflix and Hulu. All three of these services allow users to stream a variety of television shows and movies. While these services have been largely limited to computers and televisions in the past, faster streaming and other improvements in mobile technology have made these and other streaming services far more accessible to the smart phone or tablet user. Now, more than 40 percent of smart phone owners admitted to watching videos on their devices in January 2013 (BusinessInsider.com).
Future of the Big Three
While all members of the elusive Big Three continue to experience great success in the mobile viewing market, Hulu Plus in particular has had an excellent year. The subscription service was able to share quite a bit of good news in the aftermath of the 2012 numbers release, but perhaps most significant was a doubling in paid subscriptions. Capitalizing on this success, Hulu Plus is looking to release pilots of several original series this summer, including the highly anticipated Eva Longoria animation “Mother Up!” Netflix and Amazon continue to be hot on Hulu’s heels, which may explain why these streaming services are also planning to release a few original series and maintain several that were already released in late 2012 and early 2013.
One element that has made Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus and Netflix so popular among younger viewers is the easy access to mobile entertainment. All three services offer apps on which viewers can watch their favorite TV shows and movies from remote locations. In this age of complete aversion to boredom, viewers appreciate knowing that, when there appears to be absolutely nothing to do, checking out an interesting video is still always an option.
HBO Go and Other Online Services
Yes, the Big Three get all the attention, but they are certainly not the only options for someone interested in viewing television shows and movies from his or her computer or mobile device. In fact, for those who have already invested in cable or satellite, the apps associated with their providers of choice may be a far better option than the added expense created by a subscription streaming service. Following the lead of Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and Netflix, providers such as DirecTV have begun to offer excellent mobile viewing options of their own. HBO also has a service known as HBO Go that provides for mobile streaming. However, HBO’s online service has been a bit controversial in that viewers must first have access to cable and then pay a viewing fee on top of that. Altogether, this can get a bit expensive, which is why some experts speculate that HBO is losing potential viewers.
Many television viewers find themselves drawn to the mobile television and movie apps offered by cable and satellite providers. Customers of the Direct TV deal can easily catch their favorite programs as well as extensive sports broadcasting by downloading the provider’s exclusive app on their smart phones or tablet computers.
Hulu Plus, Netflix and Amazon may still lead the way in terms of mobile television, but they are no longer the only significant providers. Today, dedicated viewers have a huge range of available options, which is why it pays to check out several mobile viewing opportunities.