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Peak TV has given way to the "Plus TV" era

  • "Peak TV already reflected a shift in emphasis toward quantity and away from the quality designated by TV's various 'Golden Ages,'" says Daniel Fienberg. "So maybe we need a new term to refer to what happens when we go past the peak and an avalanche comes down to bury us all. Welcome to Plus TV! This was not how the streaming wars began. Netflix, after emerging from its origins as an underdog aiming a slingshot at Blockbuster, was sui generis. But Hulu started as a glorified DVR substitute for its corporate owners and Amazon Prime Video was a value add if you didn't think free shipping alone justified annual membership. Netflix may have evolved to become omnipresent but it wasn't overnight, and the experiment could have backfired. Apple TV+ and Disney+, though, arrived with nothing less than world domination on their minds. They weren't attempting to carve out new space as much as they were trying to push two of the world's most recognizable media brands into terrain where their already established ubiquity would give them an advantage. To subscribe to one service or the other is almost Pavlovian at this point. It's less like a marriage celebrating fresh ardor, and more like a recommitment ceremony acknowledging that we've gone so far down the road together that we might as well say 'I do' again (or reauthorize our credit cards) for the next stretch. Apple TV+ and Disney+ are self-perpetuating engines of entertainment hegemony, and if they deliver decent programming in addition, that's almost a bonus."

    TOPICS: Peak TV, Apple TV+, Disney+