Salary Survey Extra: Certified IT pros settle the streaming war

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Salary Survey Extra is a series of periodic dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our most recent Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Do certified IT professionals have a favorite service in the streaming war between entertainment providers?Just in time for there to be a sudden and sharp uptick in the general public’s level of interest in watching shows and movies via internet streaming, the battle for home audience eyeballs kicked into high gear at the end of last year. Several major content providers either debuted new streaming services, or doubled down on their existing commitment to entertaining the world.

In the rush to win the early battles of the brewing streaming war, some providers raided their extensive libraries of intellectual property. The Walt Disney Co. ensured that its charge to the battlefield would not go unremarked by committing hefty resources to an eight-episode series that mined longstanding interest in two Star Wars side characters, bounty hunter Boba Fett and Jedi master Yoda.

Not to be outdone, CBS All Access pulled arguably its most famous captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise out of mothballs. The CBS guys didn’t just launch a new Star Trek series, they recruited 79-year-old Patrick Stewart to headline Picard, a 12-episode “further adventures of” saga that also brought back fan favorite Seven of Nine, the rehabilitated Borg played by Jeri Ryan on Star Trek: Voyager.

Apple’s long-promised Apple TV bet big on original content, recruiting Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, and Reese Witherspoon for two seasons (so far) of the TV dramedy The Morning Show, while also committing to two seasons of the Jason Momoa-led sci-fi series See. (Two seasons. Pshaw! CBS All-Access has already committed to three seasons of Picard.)

Amazon Prime has Al Pacino pursuing (really old?) Nazi war criminals in Hunters and is also feverishly preparing for the 2021 launch of a series set in the Second Age of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Hulu has a pile of legacy TV content, the streaming rights to some of the most popular network shows running (This Is Us, the just-concluded The Good Place), and one of the hottest streaming originals in the game: bleak future sci-fi drama The Handmaid’s Tale.

Notice who we haven’t mentioned yet? Netflix, the granddaddy of all streaming services started producing original movies and series before most other content providers had even figured out that streaming was a thing. Alternating between Oscar-winning films like Marriage Story, massive streaming hits like Stranger Things, and flavor-of-the-week originals like Tiger King, the Netflix content mill rivals the output of everyone else put together.

If you’ve made it this far, then you’re probably thinking that the official website of Certification Magazine is a strange place to be reading about all of this. And we’ll grant you the point. This is probably one of the longest lead-ins we’ve ever written to get to business of addressing one of those Not So Serious questions that get tacked on at the end of the Salary Survey each year.

We essentially asked, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the most important streaming service of them all?” It was a brewing hot topic at the time, and has suddenly become even more of-the-moment as cooped-up pandemic resistors increasingly turn to streaming movies and shows to pass all of the indoor hours. Where do certified IT professionals prefer to turn?

Here’s what we learned:

Q: If I could only pick one video streaming service to use for the next five years, it would be:

Netflix — 57.7 percent
Amazon Prime — 20.9 percent
Disney+ — 10.2 percent
Hulu — 5.5 percent
Apple TV — 3.4 percent
CBS All Access — 2.3 percent

It’s no big surprise to see Netflix in first place with a bigger percentage of the vote than everyone else combined. It probably goes back to what Nathan Bedford Forrest once said about getting there first with the most men. If you’re going to win a streaming war, then it’s helpful to have been hanging around the battlefield for years — with overwhelming force to boot — before anyone else gets there.

And Amazon Prime doubling up the next closest finisher is also not that surprising. Hulu, on the other hand, despite having a significant head start on Disney+ in terms of how long it’s been around, somehow wound up as the fourth-most popular selection. Apple TV and CBS All Access are still finding their sea legs.

It also bears reminding that we asked which service survey respondents would choose if they could only have one. That’s not a choice likely to be forced upon anyone in our modern age. Quite the opposite, in fact. Maybe the real question to ask would have been how many survey respondents pay for two, three, four, five, or even all six of the streaming “majors.”

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CertMag Staff

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Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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