As you may be well aware if you’re a fan of films and television, Disney+ is almost here (Learn how to activate it here). It’s the biggest development we’ve seen in streaming entertainment in many years, and arguably Netflix’s biggest challenger to date.
The service will include any and all Disney content, new and old, and it’s expected to be just the first of many network- or studio-specific platforms and more niche streaming alternatives. (Not to be outdone, Apple is also releasing its original content platform, Apple TV+, this November).
Given this budding trend, we can’t help but wonder what some of the next streaming services that haven’t been announced yet might be. Across movies, television, and even sports, it’s likely that we’re going to see more programs emerging, fragmenting our entertainment but also providing us all kinds of access to excellent material. This is all speculative, but these are some streaming concepts worth keeping a lookout for.
Given the superhero entertainment industry that is at least somewhat at the heart of Disney+, it seems unlikely that Warner Bros. will stand pat. AT&T, which owns WarnerMedia, actually has multiple streaming systems and is launching another this fall, but we’ve heard nothing about a dedicated Warner Bros. network.
It could include a vast library of film properties (including the LEGO movies, the Lord Of The Rings series, the Harry Potter films, and more), every cartoon from Adult Swim and Cartoon Networks, and, most importantly, all DC Comics licenses.
A Warner Bros. service would allow DC to follow Marvel into the streaming medium to create its own original shows and films about heroes that haven’t made the big screen yet.
NBCUniversal actually does have a streaming service in the works – supposedly – but details haven’t seemed quite as concrete as the Disney+ rumors we heard for so long dating back to 2018. What we’ve heard is that this service will largely serve to host the popular NBC comedy shows, from Saturday Night Live to Parks and Recreation.
However, if the service were also to include Universal Pictures properties, it could be another competitor on the Warner Bros. and Disney+ scale. In particular, it would be nice to see this streaming network save the Universal monster movies that were scheduled for cinematic release but which seemed to fizzle out. The likes of Dracula and Frankenstein are ripe for modern adaptation, and at this point, it might be easier to do it via streaming than anywhere else.
This is more of a long shot, but it makes a certain sense also. DraftKings has expanded its offerings to include a sportsbook and dedicated sportsbook mobile app, branding out significantly from daily fantasy sports. The company is clearly angling to become the go-to betting company in the U.S., and sports streaming could be a natural next step.
Granted, there are already plenty of streaming options for sports fans. But with millions of users who pay close attention to a variety of sports, DraftKings is positioned to cut into the market. And with live betting options becoming more popular around the world, there may actually be a specific need for a sports streaming service directly attached to betting accounts.
DAZN is another possibility in the sports category. It actually exists already as a streaming provider, though it’s somewhat on the fringe of “major” sports (with more of a focus on fighting sports like mixed martial arts and boxing).
However, it was founded by the ex-ESPN president John Skipper, and built to compete. It’s unclear exactly how DAZN will expand, but given that its goal seems to be to become a go-to sports viewing option, we had to put it on the list.
This is more of a general concept than a specific idea, but it’s still one worth keeping in mind. Slowly but surely, people are getting more comfortable with using cryptocurrency for certain types of online purchases, and streaming may ultimately prove to be a good fit.
It’s conceivable that at some point in the next few years a “CoinStream” type of service will emerge, either accepting crypto payments for a monthly subscription or – since such payments can be made in tiny, tiny fractions – providing content in exchange for microtransactions.