Streaming services offering more scripted content than broadcast isn’t surprising

Credit: Bosch season 4 - Amazon Studios
Credit: Bosch season 4 - Amazon Studios /

Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services are now offering more scripted content than broadcast and cable. This isn’t surprising when you consider everything streaming offers.

Streaming services have seen the largest growth in original content, taking over broadcast and cable. The likes of Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu are now offering more scripted programming and not just than ever before. They’ve taken over broadcast and cable, and it really isn’t that surprising.

The figures come from Deadline, which shows that broadcast and basic cable have seen a decline in original scripted programming between 2014 and 2018. Pay cable has jumped up by 32% but streaming services have jumped up by a whopping 385%.

More from TV on Amazon

I’ll be honest and say that I’m not surprised by the figures. Only two days ago, I’d said to my husband that I need to make a list of all the shows I’m behind on. Last night, while watching Thursday Night Football through Amazon Prime Video, I saw trailers for Prime Originals that I’d temporarily forgotten about and knew they needed to be added to the list.

Amazon has now released its list of shows for January. Netflix released its list. It won’t be long before Hulu shares its own list of shows and movies dropping in January 2019. Whether it’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Handmaid’s TaleChilling Adventures of Sabrina, or even Bosch, there is an abundance of original scripted programming on streaming services.

JACK RYAN — Photo credit: Amazon Studios — Acquired via Persona PR
JACK RYAN — Photo credit: Amazon Studios — Acquired via Persona PR /

Broadcasters and heavy unscripted programming

It’s not surprising that the streaming platforms are starting to take over. Broadcasters are relying heavily on the unscripted programs to carry the weight. Look at Dancing with the StarsThe VoiceHell’s Kitchen, and Survivor. There’s always some sort of reality program on the air. Don’t get me started on Keeping Up with the KardashiansThe Real Housewives franchiseand even Teen Mom.

While there’s scripted programming, there aren’t that many hours available to fit the shows in. The CW has opened up to Sunday nights to add shows in and some of the bigger networks until the 10-11 p.m. slot to make sure there are hours available. This is where streaming services win.

There’s no need for the streaming services to worry about an airing time. Shows drop on the services at midnight, 3 a.m., whatever time the specific platform has chosen, and people get to watch to their heart’s content. Some people will stay up until midnight or 3 a.m. to watch right away and others will wait to the closest weekend to binge.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel — Photo by Amazon Studios — Acquired via EPK.TV
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel — Photo by Amazon Studios — Acquired via EPK.TV /

Watch when you want

And that’s where another benefit comes in. People will binge. They’re happy with 10-episode seasons that they can binge throughout the weekend and then wait until the following year for more episodes. They’ll just binge the episodes again and again because they’re always available.

The streaming services don’t need to worry about a schedule. They offer content when everyone else wants it, meaning there’s plenty of time to bring fresh original programming.

I remember being up at 3 a.m. with my daughters when they were infants. There was nothing on broadcast TV except late night poker or weird reality programs or news — that that wasn’t the stuff that would put my daughters to sleep! With Amazon Prime and Netflix, I get to just put a movie or show on that I want to watch without hoping it’s airing.

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Were you surprised streaming services are taking over original programming? How do you prefer to watch your shows? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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