2023: State of the Ship

Ahoy mateys! This is your captain speaking,

It’s been a while coming but the winds of change have finally blown across the sails of our beloved ship and it’s time to take account of our passage and revisit the terms of our accord.

In the time since our last State of the Ship the streaming services have raised their subscription fees, as little as 12% (Youtube TV) and as high as 75% (Netflix), in fact every one of the services in the Galleon have raised their subscription fees by some degree. This development of course requires reflection, and reaction. Here’s the take:

Netflix1620 + $8/user
HBO Max1520
Youtube TV6573
Total114138 + 8/user
Yar fees be increasin’

At the Galleon we’ve had some drifters, but on the whole, we keep a steady crew of about 6 members. When our ship set sail $20/member/mo was ample coverage for these fees. But we’re in murkier waters now. There is still some competition among the little guys, and we can take advantage of a bundle offer between Disney and Hulu which includes ESPN. The three together are offered for $20/mo, and this is a savings of $5 between Hulu and Disney alone, and is going forward the only tier of these services offered without ads, the inclusion of ESPN is a bonus.

This brings us down to $133, but there is still the $8/mo extra member fee being imposed by Netflix, an impact of $48 across 6 members.

Of all the services in the sea, Hulu is least watched for me. I haven’t used it once this year, but bundled with Disney, I think it’s fair. HBO Max I likely watch the most, but to be honest, Netflix is close. Do I watch Netflix often enough to still find fair their gambit against those who share? I have a napkin, let’s do some math. If we sailed the ship without Netflix, for a season, even. It saves each sailor $8, and a sixth of $20/mo, another $3.33. That brings the net cost of Galleon down to 113/mo, a dollar less per month than when we first set sail. Divided by 6, its just under $20/mo (18.83)

The only greater increase than this comes from YouTube TV, now at $73/mo. To exclude only YouTube TV, and keep Netflix brings the ships monthly cost down to $60 Which would be $10/member, but Netflix $8/user and we’re right back up to nearly $20/mo (18). Netflix has made a calculated move. They have made themselves as significant a cost impact to sharers as the next biggest player, Youtube TV.

Don’t doubt, sailors. As the consumers become more savvy, this kind of behavior from the big streaming services will continue. Netflix has the weight to test these waters. It’s a bold strategy. These days there are plenty of fish in the sea, while smaller streaming services like Disney and Hulu school together to compound their relevance, Netflix regards itself the whale. Not all of our sailors are into Wall Street bets, but its puts on Netflix for me.

To keep everything – Netflix, YouTube TV, Hulu, Disney, ESPN, and HBO (now MAX) – for 6 members is $181/mo and parts out to $30/member/mo. Still grossly competitive compared to cable.

Because of this new equivalency between Netflix and YouTube TV, I considered additional clusters of membership, to account for these changes. After all, we already have a tier of Galleon that excludes YouTube TV, due to the hard limit set by YouTube which prevents excess members and locks participants by region.

Galleon Basic: Hulu, Disney, ESPN, HBO, cost of $40 regularly, ship rate: $10/mo
Galleon Plus: Basic + Netflix or Youtube TV: cost of $60-$113 regularly, ship rate: $20/mo
Galleon Gold: Everything included: $133 regularly, ship rate $30/mo

Consider that at the basic tier $40/6 is not $10, it’s less than $7. And that $133/6 is not $30, its 22.16, which, plus a Netflix subscription is 30.16. The little extra in the lower tiers is designed to compensate for that regardless of whether everyone in the ship subscribes to Basic, and only a single member subscribes to all the services of Gold, that the ship must bear them all. The slight discount to Gold is to incentivize members to higher tiers where their contribution is more impactful to higher tier services.

Because we’re a crew together, I’d like to put it to a vote. To poll (anonymously) the members of the Galleon, and let each have their say. Should we keep everything as it is and adapt to new rates (30 Gold, 20 Silver)? Should we go ahead with the tiers described above? Should we collectively offload some of these brazen services? This poll will be open for the week and results made public clear majorities will impact the future of the Galleon during the coming update.

For this moment, nothing is changing, I have seen some screenshots that some users are getting prompted by Netflix that they need to add a user to continue watching, in the USA, as recently as yesterday. If you receive this notice let me know. But within another week from now I expect to have a consensus and new model established, at which time passwords will be reset and memberships will need to be renewed.

here is the form:


Happy sailing. 🦜

-Caleb / yorbelac@gmail.com