The Headache That is Micro Transactions and Streaming Wars

I was a big fan of programs like SlingTV when it first came out. It seemed like the perfect answer to cord cutting and a great alternative to cable. I could finally have a cable-like subscription that was affordable each month, and that fit reasonably into my budget. Netflix, once they rolled out their streaming services, made me really like the idea of streaming everything else, from the comfort of my home and couch, rather than having to wait for discs to be mailed or go out and buy individual DVDs, or suffer through a monthly cable subscription.

This is obviously not an exhaustive list of all that is out there. I don’t even think I could list all that is out there right now, that’s how ridiculous this whole situation has become, in my opinion.

Once things really got rolling though, I could see the beginnings of things getting out of control. Soon SlingTV started getting more competitors, and channels were getting removed from certain subscription sites and added to others. Licenses getting obtained and lost; moved to other services than where they originally started, and so on. A good friend of mine and I from the latest university I attended were discussing about the whole streaming wars thing around the time everything really started booming, and we shared our concerns with how we could fit everything in budget.

Streaming wars aren’t the only thing that have a potentially devastating impact on the good ol’ wallet. There’s services like Adobe Creative Cloud, and in the video game realm, the whole headache that is micro transactions (and more recently, season passes). One can easily spend upwards of $200 trying to budget everything out, and you really start getting more choosy as to what you subscribe to. I try to stick with what I find to be absolutely essential, but the keeping all the recurring payment dates can sometimes be tricky. (I also try to stick to annual plans, as opposed to monthly plans, to lessen the headache and make things easier to keep track of.)

Another thing I’ve noticed, is that subscription prices only get more expensive with time. It’s like when I was living in this one apartment in the city, and it seemed like rent was increasing each year at rates that made it seem like they were intentionally trying to push you out.

Which makes me wonder if, one day, everything will come to a head, or someone will come up with a better, more compromising solution. I do find the current culture of pro-corporation as opposed to pro-consumer to be very troubling. What’s the answer to all of this? I honestly couldn’t tell you, but there’s always hope that things will slowly revert back to the ways of pro-consumer and an emphasis on quality customer service.

Anyway, just felt like posting this as food for thought. I’d be interested in hearing what other people think or feel about this, and what ideas, if any, you might have. Until next time, then.

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