Streaming Services: A New Frontier of Entertainment Consumption
By Shanuka Kadupitiyage
When in the need to escape from reality and get a dose of entertainment in our lives, Sri Lanka continues to get the short end of the stick regarding legal ways of getting our hands on the latest the world has to offer. Even so, it doesn’t stop our excitement of finally having a way to not only be entertained, but also support the livelihood of the people behind the scenes.
Streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video have made their way to Sri Lanka and are now available for local audiences. While they have been household names in many countries for a while now, their importance to both the industry and consumers still remains.
When Netflix first began its genius idea of a subscription based streaming service, the world still relied on cable and satellite TV to get their daily dose of entertainment. Unfortunately, paying for satellite or cable TV had a variety of drawbacks.
Let’s say you’re a movie buff and wanted to watch the best Hollywood has to offer. In order to do that, you would traditionally have to subscribe to a cable or satellite TV service provider, install the needed equipment (which you usually have to pay for) and then make another payment to buy a package which includes a bunch of channels which include the movie channels you’re looking for.
By doing so, you might get the channels you wanted such as HBO, but you also pay for channels you would hardly ever watch, meaning you’re not really getting a bang for your buck. You’ll also have to make time to watch the movies you choose (a luxury not many of us have with our busy lifestyles) because such channels have a set schedule of movies they put on air which subscribers have no power over. This means the choices that such subscribers have is very limited.
There’s also the fact that you most likely won’t get to watch all of the latest movies and TV shows as they are being released.
These drawbacks haven’t changed much over time and continue to be a part of the inconveniences that cable or satellite TV users have to face even in modern day Sri Lanka.
When streaming services and online entertainment providers started gaining traction among people, they promised a solution to a variety of these issues. However, due to competition and other services appearing with their own exclusive content, much of the value for money streaming services provided have declined over time. Even so, they continue to be the best legal option the people of Sri Lanka have in order to gain access to entertainment they like while contributing to the industry.
While streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Crunchyroll and Apple Music have made their way to Sri Lanka, other services like Disney+ and Spotify remain out of our reach. Issues with licensing agreements in various regions also affect their available content, meaning you might not be getting all that you’re Netflix or Crunchyroll account has to offer because of the region you live in among other reasons.
With all this in mind, paying that monthly subscription for online streaming services is still the best option that modern day consumers have to get the best value for their money. While we are yet to discover the next frontier in mainstream entertainment, we can continue to make the best value out of what we have.