First HBO, now Nickelodeon.
It sure looks like the future of TV will be standalone subscription services, and Nickelodeon on Thursday announced it's joining the fray this February. No pricing details were revealed, but the magic number for services like this—heck, even music streaming services—seems to fall in at the $9.99/month range. Nickelodeon said more details about its service will be revealed early next month.
I'm all for standalone services, but imagine if every big channel started doing this. $9.99 here, $9.99 there; pretty soon you're paying more than what you would have paid for cable. In any case, parents will likely flock to Nickelodeon's offering in an effort to save their sanity. Nickelodeon admitted it's doing this to cater to parents and children, and said it's specifically aimed for mobile consumption. The fastest way to calm down a bratty child is to shove an iPad in front of them, and adding shows like Spongebob to the fray will be even better.
Thanks to companies like Amazon and Netflix, the prospect of standalone streaming services doesn't sound all that outrageous. Many networks used to resist the idea, but I wouldn't be surprised to see many others follow suit throughout the year. Once Nickelodeon's service does launch, the company said it would carry a "different name or brand." More details will be revealed soon, so we'll keep our eyes peeled.