Making New Year's resolutions is a time-honored tradition. Personal resolutions typically revolve around diet, fitness, finances and education. But we're here to suggest resolutions for the streaming entertainment industry.
Our streaming wishlist for 2024 covers Netflix, Disney Plus and other top streaming services. We think they're all great (though it'd be nice if they slowed down on their price hikes) and we thoroughly enjoy all the new movies and shows they deliver on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. But there's always room for improvement! So here's what we want to see from streaming services in 2024.
Paramount or Peacock merge with someone else — maybe even each other
Speaking of the streaming services, the town simply is big enough for all of them. I literally write about TV shows and movies for a living and even I don’t have all of them because, simply put, some of them don’t give you enough reasons to sign up. Consolidation needs to happen and the most likely candidates are Paramount Plus and Peacock. Paramount just merged its Showtime prestige streaming service with Paramount Plus and is tipped to be sold sooner rather than later. Comcast, who owns Peacock, just ended its relationship with Hulu and could use a new partner in the streaming wars.
Either of these streaming services — or companies — could merge with Warner Bros. Discovery, which is facing sale rumors of its own and has reportedly met with Paramount about merging. But personally, I like what I get from Max, and I don’t like what I get from Peacock and don’t even have Paramount Plus. So selfishly, I want to see them pair up for a super streaming service. That gets complicated because each company has broadcast networks and won’t be allowed to own both in a potential merger, but this is a wish list and a Paramount/Peacock merger is my wish.- MM
More licensed streaming TV shows
For a while now, the model for streaming TV has been for studios to create their own streaming services and then stockpile content to encourage people to sign up for those streaming services. The problem with that? It’s not actually a good model for anyone. It’s not profitable for the streaming services — only Netflix’s streaming service is profitable — and then they raise prices or add advertising to make it profitable, discouraging potential subscribers.
But this past year we saw the damn start to break. Warner Bros. Discovery started licensing shows to Netflix, and Suits was licensed to Netflix by NBC Universal and became the streaming hit of the year. My hope? In 2024, everyone starts licensing content to everyone. It’s a win for consumers and gives the studios money to fund more TV shows for us to watch. - MM
Bring back Battlestar Galactica to streaming
I don’t know all the whys and wherefores of streaming license deals (and mostly don’t want to know) but sometimes a show is missing from all services that just doesn’t make any sense. The most egregious example has to be the reimagined Battlestar Galactica, which used to be on Peacock and now is nowhere. It’s a head-scratcher, since BSG was produced within NBCUniversal and aired on the NBCU-owned Syfy channel. If the company had licensed out Battlestar to another streamer — say, Netflix — that would be understandable. They did that with Suits, and as Malcolm noted, it worked like gangbusters. But no, one of the best sci-fi shows of the past several decades is lost in streaming space. - KW
Make 4K the default/base streaming resolution
One of the biggest annoyances I have about streaming services is the fact that you have to upgrade to more expensive plans in order to gain 4K streaming. Most services in fact have 1080p as the base streaming option. Furthermore, there are fewer new 1080p TVs being released — so it’s time that streaming services make 4K the base resolution. There are already a handful of 8K TVs on the market, along with 8K content from services like YouTube. We’re still a good while away before most content is captured in 8K glory, but it’s just mind-blowing that we’re still accepting 1080p at this point. - JV
Marvel and Star Wars produce great TV shows again
Look, I’d like Marvel and Star Wars to produce great movies again too, but in 2024 the two franchises are combining for a whopping one movie — Deadpool 3. So instead, I’ll focus on the TV shows, of which there are a handful. Marvel is putting out five or six shows in 2024 at last count, headlined by Echo and Agatha: Darkhold Diaries and Star Wars has a few of its own headlined by The Acolyte and Skeleton Crew.
Here’s the problem: I have no confidence in any of these shows. Well, that’s not true. I’m fairly confident that Tales of the Jedi season 2 and The Bad Batch’s final season will be good, but aside from that I’m just praying that something turns out to be decent. And the track record of late isn’t promising. Marvel hasn’t produced a great season of TV since Loki season 1, though there have been a few solid offerings since then. For Star Wars it’s been a bit more recent, but not much. The last great season of Star Wars TV was the most recent season of the Bad Batch earlier this year. It’s time for these two storied franchises to get out of a rut in 2024, or both could be in serious trouble. - MM
Let me easily delete shows from “Continue Watching”
The “Continue Watching” section on most streaming services is my nemesis. It sits there, taunting me with all the shows and movies I started but never finished. Or just as bad, it displays shows and movies I’ve seen but for some reason won’t mark as completed. Some streamers have a way to remove shows from this sections but generally, that way is convoluted and troublesome. What, I have to go to the mobile app and press down for how long? Ugh. In the year of our Time Lord 2024, technology should be able to let me delete a show from “Continue Watching” with at most one click. - KW
... but also put “Continue Watching” higher up
This is going to read as very contradictory, but as frustrated as I am with “Continue Watching” on most streaming services, I want it to be placed higher up on their interfaces. Even though this section is riddled with stuff I’ve actually seen or stuff I’ll never finish, it does keep my place in stuff I’m actually in the middle of watching. So yes, it’s useful (I’d just like to be a bit more so, as stated above). But a quick check around the various apps places “Continue Watching” five rows down on Netflix and Hulu, three down on Prime Video and Disney Plus and non-existent for Peacock. Good on Max, Paramount Plus and Apple TV Plus for placing it where it belongs — at the top. - KW
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Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.