Imagine if, a few weeks after you started paying for Spotify or Apple Music, some of your favourite artists’ back catalogues disappeared from the service?
There have been pullouts like this in the past (Taylor Swift, most famously) but in 2020, we take it for granted that the catalogues of music streaming services are both comprehensive and stable – stuff doesn’t suddenly vanish.
In the online video world, as has been well documented already, it’s a very different story. Not only are exclusives par for the course, but TV shows and films are regularly taken down from Netflix and its rivals, as the licensing deals that put them there elapse.
What’s more surprising is that it’s happening already for two of the newest video streaming services: HBO Max and Peacock.
HBO Max launched three months ago with the Harry Potter films one of its big selling points. Now it has announced that they’ll be removed on 25 August, destination unknown (but The Verge suggests it might be Peacock, the newly-launched rival from NBCUniversal).
Yet that latter service isn’t immune from such removals: barely a week after its launch, it’s revealed that Shrek, the Jurassic Park trilogy and The Matrix trilogy are gone or going soon.
As crazy as it seems, when people are deciding which video streaming service(s) to subscribe to, it’s not just about working out who has what content now – but also accepting that this can change without much notice.