We have long predicted that consumer burnout would ultimately lead to consolidation among video streaming services. To subscribe to all of the services that are available would cost far above the already outrageous cost of cable television. This leads to consumers having to choose which content they are willing to skip, which is not what any of the streaming services want. No one wants to be the service that is the one being skipped, so inevitably, the smaller services would be integrated into the larger ones. This week, reports have surfaced that two of the smaller video services are under contract to join two of the larger media companies.
The first is Vudu, a service that has had various owners and purposes. Originally, the brand converted DVDs into digital downloads, but Walmart has tried various alternate options since its purchase. The most recent has been Family Play, a content censorship program. After months of rumors about a potential sale, it appears that Comcast's NBCUniversal might be in advanced discussions to purchase the brand. For NBC, the purchase could be all about buying streaming rights to help with its upcoming Peacock streaming service.
The second brand in transition is Tubi, a service that allows users to watch movies and television shows online for free. This business model is similar to the free tier for NBC's Peacock - a feature that is missing from Fox's offerings. This is even more accurate with much of Fox's content library being sold to Disney. The reports suggest that Fox could be offering as much as $500 million for the Tubi service.
By folding some of these smaller services, such as Vudu, Tubi, Xumo, PlutoTV, etc., into the larger brands, it would make the larger services more attractive, and create a lot less pressure on consumers to choose which services to support and which to skip.