The Future of Streaming: Will It Be Fragmented, or Consolidated?

By: The BitMar Team.

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Streaming has revolutionized the entertainment industry; while granting users unparalleled access to a vast array of content, at their fingertips. As we gaze into the future of streaming, an intriguing question arises: Will the streaming landscape be fragmented, or consolidated? To delve into this matter, we must consider multiple perspectives; and rely on reputable sources, in order to forecast the potential outcomes.

The Current State of Streaming:

In order to understand where streaming may be headed, it is essential to grasp its present state. The current streaming industry is a crowded field, with numerous platforms; offering diverse content libraries, catering to specific niche audiences. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, and others, lead the pack. According to a report, by Statista, the number of global streaming subscribers is projected to surpass 1.1 billion, by the end of 2023.

The Rise of Exclusive Content:

As streaming services vie for market dominance, the creation of exclusive content has become a critical strategy. Platforms are heavily investing in producing original series, and movies, to attract and retain subscribers. This trend, however, raises concerns about fragmentation. According to an analysis, by Business Insider, the number of streaming services, in the U.S. (only), has reached 300; with the majority featuring exclusive content.

Consumer Subscription Fatigue:

The proliferation of streaming services has led to a phenomenon; known, as: subscription fatigue. As users subscribe to multiple platforms, managing numerous subscriptions can become cumbersome, and costly. The Boston Consulting Group conducted a study, showing: that 47% of U.S. consumers consider managing multiple subscriptions to be a hassle—potentially, leading to a decline in streaming subscriber numbers.

Media Conglomerates, and Mergers:

Media conglomerates have begun consolidating their streaming services; in an effort to stay competitive, in an increasingly-crowded marketplace. For example: in 2021, WarnerMedia, and Discovery, merged; to create a single streaming platform—leading to more comprehensive content offerings. This strategy of consolidation has the potential to alter the streaming landscape. The New York Times reported, on the deal; and its implications for the industry.

The Role of Advertising, and Ad-Supported Platforms:

While subscription-based streaming services currently dominate the market, ad-supported platforms are gaining momentum. Advertising provides an alternative revenue stream; and allows some platforms to offer content, for free, to users. In another recent study, by eMarketer, it was predicted: that ad-supported streaming services would grow, by 16.7%, in 2023.

Technological Innovations, and Integration:

Advancements in technology can significantly influence the future of streaming. The integration of streaming services – into smart devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT) – offers users seamless access to content, across different devices. Another report, by Forbes, highlighted the impact of IoT on the streaming industry, and its potential to shape its future.


As we peer into the future of streaming, the debate – between: fragmentation, and consolidation – remains a complex one. While exclusive content, and media conglomerate mergers, contribute to fragmentation... the rise of ad-supported platforms, and technological innovations, may lean toward consolidation. The streaming industry is dynamic. Therefore, its future trajectory will be influenced by various factors—including: consumer preferences, and market dynamics. Only time will reveal whether streaming remains a disparate collection of services, or if it evolves into a more consolidated, and user-friendly, ecosystem.

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