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Time for a Reality Check Among TV’s Streaming Services

 

In the burgeoning world of subscription VOD services, all ventures are not created equal.

That’s a notion easy to lose sight of in 2015 as one TV network after another pushes out an over-the-top extension that makes programming available without requiring consumers to pay for a multichannel subscription. The latest is Lifetime, which unveiled a new branded SVOD play Thursday that offers 30 original movies for $4 per month.

Lifetime Movie Club is bound to get lumped in with the growing roster of channels that have made similar moves, including HBO, Showtime, Nickelodeon and CBS (and many more coming). But that doesn’t really make sense.

They’re all similar in one key regard: They free up programming previously restricted to pay-TV subscribers. But what exactly they make available is where the one-size-fits-all definition of OTT starts to fall apart.

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