[11/19/2019] Media Streams: How Streaming is Here to Stay

As of November, Disney entered the streaming market with Disney Plus. Just the day after, Disney announced that over 10 million users signed up through a wide variety of promotional efforts. Disney Plus, a video on demand (VOD) subscription-based streaming service, has instantly become another significant player in the growing ecosystem of over-the-top (OTT) media services. OTT refers to delivering video and media over the Internet, compared to traditional distribution methods over cable, satellite, and broadcast television.

From traditional media companies like Disney, to sports franchises like the NBA, to technology companies like Amazon, to Internet providers like Comcast, to purely OTT companies like Netflix, the playing field is quickly growing to be diverse and complicated. This week, we will explore how several companies are adapting to the current state of media streaming.

by Eunju Namkung and Scott Talan

Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for Media Streams: How Streaming is Here to Stay



The Verge: How Disney will force Netflix to change streaming

CNBC: Disney And Apple Take On Netflix In The Streaming Wars

Vox: Why your Netflix thumbnails don’t look like mine 





  • Writing: There are many players who are entering the market to stream entertainment — from traditional media companies like Disney, to sports franchises like the NBA, to technology companies like Amazon, to Internet providers like Comcast, to purely over-the-top (OTT) companies like Hulu, just to name a few. What do you think are the features, values and strategies that would make a company competitive and ultimately successful in the future? Feel free to draw from your own experience with these companies and their content to inform your answer.
  • Debate: If Americans exclusively streamed, what changes would you see in American culture (pop culture, social experience, etc.)?
  • Poll: How many streaming services are you subscribed to?
    • 0, 1, 2, 3, 4+
  • Short Answer: What are the pros and cons of broadcasting content versus streaming?


Current Events Quiz

  1. According to the CNBC video, “Disney And Apple Take On Netflix In The Streaming Wars,” what percentage of young American (ages 18-29) watch TV via online streaming?

a. 92 percent

b. 10 percent

c. 61 percent

d. 25 percent


  1. What do over-the-top (OTT) media services do?

a. OTT bypasses cable, broadcast and satellite television platforms.

b. OTT allows access to the most popular content around the world, or the “top” content.

c. OTT secures connections that facilitate high definition audio and video from all media distribution systems.

d. OTT business models prioritize the role of the employees and are thus structured as worker cooperatives.


  1. Which of the following statements is a finding from the 13th edition of Deloitte’s annual Digital Media Trends survey?

a. 43% subscribe to both pay-TV and streaming services.

b. The average U.S. consumer subscribes to one or fewer video streaming services.

c. 52% of consumers cancel subscriptions when programming changes too quickly.

d. Only a small number of Americans are feeling “frustrated” by the many options now available for streaming; most are excited to have more streaming options.


  1. In The Verge’s video, “How Disney will force Netflix to change streaming,” the speaker mentions that as companies become more vertically integrated (meaning they control content creation and distribution), what will happen as a result?

a. There will be a dramatic uptick in pirating

b. The companies will prohibit users from using other streaming services

c. Technology innovation speeds will increase

d. There will be less third party content to license


  1. One day after Disney released Disney Plus, it announced the number of users that had signed up. Which statement most accurately reflects the news about Disney Plus in regards to its sign-ups?

a. It largely underperformed compared to initial projections conducted by analysts internal and external to Disney.

b. Even though millions signed up for Disney Plus, Disney detected that many sign-ups were automated bots and announced that it is committed to rectifying the issue.

c. Sign-ups, though stronger than initially expected, were limited because the sales were done exclusively by Disney employees.

d. Through various promotions and marketing campaigns, millions signed up for Disney Plus.



Featured image credit: iStock.com / simpson33

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