Hulu Plus. Amazon Prime. Netflix. Redbox. In an ideal world, any one of these would someday become an all-encompassing streaming service. One subscription, one price, one ticket out of the cable's iron grasp. That's never been the case, of course. But as exclusive content deals keep piling up, it's increasingly clear that it never will be.
Want to cut the cord? That's great. But what's waiting for you could soon be nearly as bad.
Streaming services have always been fractured, but at least there were some clear lines of demarcation. Broadly speaking, if you wanted (most) TV shows on delay, you'd plunk your money into Hulu Plus. Movies more your thing? Netflix, right this way. Prefer a budget-friendly middle ground that comes with free shipping? Amazon Prime's a click away. Each addressed a specific need.
That's changing. Ten days ago, Amazon announced that it had nabbed exclusive Downton Abbey rights for Amazon Prime Instant Video, sentencing Netflix subscribers to a Granthamless eternity. Today, the company piled on, becoming the only streaming service to get its mitts on CBS's new Stephen King-inspired Under the Dome. Not only that, but it'll give subscribers in-season access to the series. It's quite a coup.