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The struggle of too many streaming services

By Lexi DeLorimiere, Staff Writer

Streaming platforms are becoming an increasingly common source for watching television. As they have become more popular, the execution of the service has not always gone smoothly. Despite the massive advancements in streaming technology over the past two decades, there are specific hurdles that the industry continues to face. In particular, bandwidth limitations, latency issues, and device compatibility challenges prevent viewers from experiencing seamless video streaming. Watching live events such as award shows and sports have proven to be difficult, resulting in platforms crashing and upset viewers.

In today’s crowded media landscape, technology challenges must be addressed to retain viewers and increase profits. Viewers know that creating high-quality content is a key differentiator for video streaming providers, but the content is useless if viewers cannot access it or have a smooth viewing experience. Ensuring that big media files can be delivered quickly without lags and viewed on any device is paramount to a streaming provider’s success. The viewers expectations are being able to access the highest quality video on any device, in any location and without waiting.

The recent Grammy Awards struggled with a successful streaming experience for viewers. Paramount+, the streaming host, was hit by technical issues for the audience at the beginning of the show. Several viewers complained of issues on social media throughout the ceremony. 

“I am a frequent user of streaming services and see them in a positive light most of the time,” sophomore biology major Maja Toth said.

Service providers are working to resolve increased traffic in a few ways. They are working to improve broadband capacity by investing in upgraded fiber optic cables, better WiFi equipment and, most famously, the new generation of cellular technology, 5G. Making networks faster and boosting infrastructure will help networks handle more traffic and could improve users’ overall experience.

“I have also experienced technical problems such as lagging or crashing all together. I know this frustrates millions of people, and reasonably so. If a service knows it will be heavily trafficked for a show, they should be proactive and find a way to solve technical issues,” Toth said.

Netflix is viewed as the best streaming platform and shows no signs of dropping its rank. It includes a wide variety of familiar network shows and more original series, films, documentaries and specials than any of its competitors. The world’s first major streaming service remains the favorite choice thanks to its huge library of consistently refreshed content and its easy accessibility across different devices. Netflix won 44 Emmys in 2021, more than the next two media companies combined. Depending on the plan you choose, Netflix costs between $10 and $20 per month, which is at the higher end for a streaming service. Its recent price increase shook up the streaming world and moved Netflix closer to HBO Max in terms of cost. 

The media world is far from resolving all technical issues and being perfect, but there does seem to be hope for the future. As platforms and consumer demand is constantly changing, new problems arise while old ones get fixed.

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