The TV Streaming War Enters Its Messy Era

From bundling to licensing, the lines between streaming and linear continue to blur in 2024

First there was the Golden Age of TV. Then there was Peak TV. Now … all hell is breaking loose.

“We’re amid a linear to streaming transition, and it’s being accelerated by a pending content drought from the Hollywood strikes,” Mike Proulx, vice president and research director at Forrester, told Adweek. “Just like many of us are experiencing hybrid work, we are also experiencing hybrid television.”

Hybrid TV is leaving consumers confused and increasingly penny-pinched as networks and streamers fight for ad dollars and attention through rebrands, bundles, ad tiers and content cross-pollination.

As an example of the disruption, Max, which dropped HBO from its name last year, is now streaming live news from CNN; Disney, which is fast-tracking its Hulu and Disney+ merger, is bringing its streaming-only series Only Murders in the Building to ABC; and, most confusingly, Paramount has rebranded Showtime’s linear channel as Paramount+ With Showtime, but it won’t include...

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