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Streamed and Confused How the Streaming Services Make for a Mass of Confusion

Streamed and Confused How the Streaming Services Make for a Mass of Confusion

US households now subscribe to an average of 3.1 streaming services, up from 2.7 one year ago. I get it: movie theatres are mostly closed, dining out is virtually nonexistent, and attending live sporting events is a thing of the past. But, these streaming wars have left me confused when it comes to their nomenclature. Why isn’t their naming simple and logical?


There are 3 available services: HBO MAX, HBO GO, and HBO NOW. Really? And, HBO NOW has changed its name and will now simply be known as HBO. See the problem?


Disney entered the market with a big bang and with perfect timing. Boasting 86.8 million paid subscribers, it offers enough kid-friendly and hero-workshop movies to keep viewers of all ages entertained for ages.


Launched just this week, it unlocks millions of hours of DIY home and kitchen projects. From HGTV to the Food Network to TLC, it’s all there. However, the $4.99 monthly subscription includes commercials! You must upgrade to the $6.99/month version called (wait for it) discovery+ (Ad-Free).

Apple TV+

My issue with Apple TV is that Once you log in, you’re faced with a barrage of programing that is available to rent. In other words, it’s not free even if you’re forking over the $4.99 fee every month. The secret is to keep scrolling down to eventually find Apple TV+ which unlocks the free programming. Jeez!


Hulu, which is owned by Disney, just inked a deal with Viacom to add 14 cable networks to the streaming service. The catch is that it’s free on Hulu + Live TV (Yep! That’s the name). But, don’t confuse it with the other options from Hulu including Hulu ($5.99/month), Hulu No Ads ($11.99/month), Hulu + Live TV $64.99/month, and Hulu No Ads + Live TV ($70.99/month).

The Lesson:

Distinctly name and price your services. It’s a savvy move to offer 3 levels of service, but think before simply adding “+” to a name. And, remember: a confused prospect never buys.

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