Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Allthestreams·fm stunt hacks US subscription video-streaming | Music Ally

As we’ve noted before, the video streaming landscape is very different to the music streaming world, where bar the odd exception, every service has all the music. For video, it’s more a case of many different TV and film subscription services fighting tooth and nail to secure exclusives (easier if they were the original producer / rights owner) – from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu to new entrants Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max and Peacock. It’s shaping up as an expensive monthly multi-subscription bill for anyone who wants access to several of those services.

A new stunt from appropriately-named creative agency MSCHF is highlighting this state of affairs. It’s a website called Allthestreams·fm, which is simplifying the payment process for video streaming by… well, by removing it completely. The site describes itself as “pirate radio for streaming… we’ve got subscriptions to everything, and we’re playing them for you!”

This isn’t on-demand viewing: instead, you use an old-school radio slider interface to choose between Hulu, Disney+, Netflix, HBO Now, Prime Video or Showtime, and are parachuted into a random streaming episode or film. You’re not told what it is, nor can you fast-forward, rewind or pause. This is very much art-prank rather than a serious service, in other words. “All The Streams doesn’t care about user-utility, it doesn’t care about scalability – and it certainly doesn’t care about terms of service,” as its manifesto puts it. “All The Streams is made to revel in platform independence, and to demonstrate how even the most lo-fi hacks can be the equal of giants.” We suspect it’ll be shut down in 10, 9, 8, 7, 6…

Stuart Dredge


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