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Opinion
Tara Lachapelle and Sarah Halzack

TV Streaming Apps Can Learn From The Love of Free Shipping

As online shoppers continue to choose free delivery over faster shipping, it’s food for thought for the media industry. 

An e-commerce takeaway for the streaming crowd.

An e-commerce takeaway for the streaming crowd.

Photographer: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

As media giants such as Walt Disney Co. and AT&T Inc. devise subscription plans for new video-streaming products aimed at challenging Netflix Inc.’s supremacy, the retail industry can offer some advice: Don’t underestimate the power of “free.” 

Media companies are grappling with how much content to provide on their new video apps and how to price these new services. Disney is creating a cut-rate version of Netflix exclusively for fans of its Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars franchises. AT&T says its app will have a range of subscription prices to watch on-demand content from its HBO, Turner and Warner Bros. libraries. Depending on whether you’ll tolerate ads, CBS Corp. charges a monthly rate of $5.99 or $9.99 for CBS All Access. There are an array of other paid services as well.