COMMENTARY | Streaming video, like cable television, is bombarding users with options; even experts are going to have trouble keeping up. An Associated Press report reveals that Paramount Pictures has become the fifth major motion picture studio to sign up to offer movies through YouTube's video rental service.
Of course, the report reveals that YouTube's total video catalog now chimes in at around 9,000 options. While that total represents a fraction of the available catalog over at online streaming champion Netflix, YouTube is probably stocked with more movies folks actually want to watch. Of course, the same can be said for iTunes, Vudu, and even Facebook.
Last year, The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook was joining the movie streaming world courtesy of an agreement with Time Warner. Yet another unsung hero of the video streaming revolution is Amazon's Video on Demand service.
Like Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand is finding new distribution channels. A Time article indicates that Video on Demand from Amazon will be available via Playstation 3. The cool part of Video on Demand is the renting or purchasing options that the service provides. Unlike the Netflix monthly subscription, Amazon and just about every other streaming site, including YouTube and Facebook, offer a pay per movie or television show format, with the exception of television buffet Hulu.
So what it really comes down to is how folks want to pay. If anyone is interested in paying $5 a movie or $2 per television episode, the other services offer a bit more bang for the buck than a Netflix subscription. However, Netflix still has as an edge on the number of devices it is available on, which now includes Apple TV.
Streaming video services used to be pretty straightforward, but now the equation is jumbled up with a ton of different options. The real definitive factor is pretty clear, because it just depends on who consumers want to give their hard earned cash to.