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The Streamer Seven Year Itch

jury duty amazon freevee
It’s hard to envision Freevee sticking around long term: It doesn’t make a dent in Nielsen’s monthly Gauge Report and, outside of Emmy nominee Jury Duty, hasn’t built out a strong audience. Photo: JC Olivera/Getty Images
Julia Alexander
February 27, 2024

Scan the homepage of your smart TV, and you’ll likely find apps for a dozen streaming services that no longer exist: MTV now redirects to Paramount+; HBO Go has been folded into Max; Funimation will shut down on April 2, and the Showtime app is set to be discontinued a few weeks later. There are other services that seem destined for obsolescence, too, like Warner Bros. Discovery’s B/R Sports add-on, which presumably will be sunsetted when the “Spulu” sports streaming bundle is unleashed, possibly this fall. And then there are the niche streamers (like Crunchyroll, Criterion Channel, or Sundance Now), some of which have found a strong base within a tiny market and some that don’t appear to have any economic justification for existing at all. 

Prediction is a fool’s errand, yet here I find myself, time and time again. So instead of attempting to forecast when the most vulnerable streamers are likely to shutter, I’m going to explain why the end of each one is almost inevitable. Herewith, a chronicle of five streaming service deaths foretold…