Fanhattan just put up a somewhat amazing post on its corporate blog describing how hard it is to find specific movies or TV shows on various streaming video services. Sure, this is why Fanhattan exists - it's an app that lets you scan a bunch of streaming sites to find what you want. But I had no idea how crazy things are in the world of streaming content.
To make a point, Fanhattan looks at horror movies ("screaming media," nyuk nyuk) that you might want to watch on Halloween. There's lots of stuff online, but it's scattered all over the place.
Fanhattan reckons there are 2,300 horror movies that can be streamed right now. However: "About 71% of the horror movies currently available are exclusive to a single digital media source and more than 22% can be accessed on only two sources."
Of the 100 top Halloween movies curated by Fanhattan this year, about 65% are available from just one source, and about 25% are available from only two sources.
Worse yet, even specific horror franchises get split up and spread across different streaming platforms, so if you want to watch an entire series you need to deal with a bunch of different services. Says Fanhattan: "Hostel is available for rent on Amazon Prime and purchase on iTunes. But Hostel: Part II is only available on iTunes right now. Hostel: Part III is available with a Netflix subscription and for sale on iTunes."
But wait, it gets even worse, because all of this is changing all the time, as content providers keep moving stuff around. So a movie might show up on one service this week but be gone next week.
That's why Fanhattan exists. The app pulls together content from 16 video distribution services. "Our aim is to simplify what has become strikingly complex - finding what's on," a spokesperson says.
Someday maybe Hollywood and its streaming partners will get their act together. Until then, Fanhattan has a market opportunity.