The Problematic Issues that Come with Streaming Services Future Problems With Media Preservation

Eric Richter ’23

Disney Plus, HBO Max, and Paramount Plus are all popular streaming services in which
many enjoy a variety of video media. These services essentially allow the consumer to rent a
large amount of shows and movies for a monthly fee. While they provide convenient measures
for watching this media, problems arise when it comes to what specific shows want to be
watched by the viewer and the preservation of the shows being streamed.

Compared to services such as cable, streaming services allow for specific shows to be
watched at any time with the provider’s servers streaming them. This usually means less
commercials, however certain streaming services have tiers of subscription with advertisements
and without. The problematic aspect of this is how shows and movies the viewer wants to watch
might be on different streaming platforms. If you want to watch anything Marvel, then you have
to buy Disney Plus, if you want to watch DC as well then you’d have to get HBO Max. Not to mention the problems that come with a company streaming a show on the services which they
lose or give the license to. Not only might the consumer have to pay for multiple streaming
services just to watch one show or movie, but some of these shows and movies are also being
taken off these services.

Licensing plays a big role in whether these shows stay on their respective streaming
services or not. If a company doesn’t want to renew their license for a property for reasons such
as the property not making them enough money, then the show will have to be taken down from
that respective streaming service. A lot of more niche, and even some popular shows have met
this fate. So much so that searching “shows being taken off of streaming services” provides
headlines and websites that provide what is being removed this February which tells that these
shows and movies are being taken off at a monthly rate.

While many of these forms of media are available through other platforms such as DVDs
and Blu-Ray, this could be a problem for media preservation in the future. If an HBO Max or
Netflix exclusive gets taken off the service, then that piece of media is no longer legally
accessible to anyone. Digital media has been great for media preservation since it isn’t perishable
like DVDs but streaming services can only go so far to do so with licensing issues and all. If a
streaming service goes down one day, then that’s thousands of shows and movies lost in an

Many people can still enjoy these streaming services and they are certainly convenient.
However it is important to consider the possible problems these services can cause in the future
because they certainly aren’t perfect. Hopefully in the future, companies will look at these
problems and try to provide a way to watch these movies and shows without these worries.