The dark streaming future is upon us, and it sure seems like we should’ve wished for something other than an alternative to pricey and oppressive cable packages when we had that monkey’s paw. Under that model, you had access to pretty much everything for one large fee, whether you wanted it or not. Now, with every major media company putting together their own Netflix competitors, you have to pay lots of small fees in order to get access to anything—let alone everything. We already have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, premium cable channels like HBO (and their related streaming platforms), and specific niche sites like Shudder and DC Universe, and by this time next year we can pad out that list with Apple TV Plus, Disney+, HBO Max, and—as announced today—whatever the ad-driven NBCUniversal streaming service will be called (smart money’s on Something Plus or Something Max).
This comes from Variety, which says NBC+/NBC Max will launch in April of 2020 and is built on “the same digital infrastructure” of Sky’s Now platform in Europe (which obviously doesn’t mean much to us Americans, but it’s presumably a good thing if they’re listing it as a feature). Unfortunately, NBC PlusMax will have to launch without what will surely be its most high-profile offering, as The Office is still stuck on Netflix’s dusty, old shelves until 2021. In fact, we don’t really know what NBC GoPlusMaxNow will have when it launches, but promoting A.P. Bio as its first flagship title would be a nice way to boost awareness of that show—hint hint.