Begun, the 'streaming bundle wars' have

01 December 2023 2 min. read
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The “streaming bundle wars” are expected to heat up in 2024, according to a recent AlixPartners media report, as the highly fragmented streaming market competes for a slice of consumers' discretionary spending.

Though consumers prefer streaming to traditional pay TV, many are now overwhelmed by the proliferation of platforms. Gone are the halcyon days of Netflix aggregating content from various major networks and studios, with seemingly every network in recent years launching their own proprietary streaming platform to varying degrees of success.

Leading streaming platforms, such as Netflix and Disney+, have also been jacking up prices and blocking password sharing – adding to consumer frustration.

Fragmentation and inflation are opening the way for streaming bundles, with customers standing to save 20%-50% on bundled services versus a la carte, according to AlixPartners. Bundling streaming services replicates the cable packages of old – except on the information superhighway. As Dennis Duffy, the “Beeper King of Manhattan,” once sagely said: “Technology is cyclical.”

Begun, the 'streaming bundle wars' have

The AlixPartners report predicts bundles will represent one-fourth of global streaming subscriptions by 2028.

Some of that bundling will come by way of M&A. Consolidation is inevitable, the report says, as the market currently has over 80 global streaming players. AlixPartners expects four to five players to prevail in a “winner-takes-most” scenario.

However, dealmaking will be slowed in 2024 by persisting high interest rates and increasing regulatory scrutiny of anticompetitive practices.

Advertisers, meanwhile, will stabilize spending at a more modest 5% CAGR over the next three years – though it will not be evenly spread. A preference for digital will drive an estimated $10 billion to $20 billion reallocation from linear TV, print, and radio, according to the report.

AlixPartners also expects a wave of reinvestment in local news in the next 12 months, with networks and outlets focusing on relevant and engaging programming.

“The traditional media business model is suffering, but not yet dead,” said Grace Lee, Americas co-leader of the media and entertainment industry practice at AlixPartners. “Media and entertainment are ripe for evolution with a greater emphasis on hyperlocal and personalized content to foster strong connection in local communities.”