Say Goodbye to the Dream of Endless Streaming Content | Analysis

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For years, streamers touted the fantasy of unlimited choice. But Netflix and HBO Max’s purges of movies and shows suggest a different model

Video Streaming Entertainment
Once upon a time, we all believed streaming meant we could watch any show or movie we wanted whenever we wanted. That was a myth. (Photo illustration by Chris Smith for TheWrap / Getty Images)

For years, streaming services presented consumers with the prospect of virtually unlimited choice, the idea that almost any movie or show ever made and endless original content could be theirs with the click of a button. Suddenly, though, as HBO Max made headlines for the dozens of shows and individual films that had quietly disappeared, that concept may be little more than a fantasy — and may also reflect a shift to newfound cost consciousness in the streaming industry.

Netflix in the past has touted “unlimited movies, TV shows and more,” Paramount+ promised a “mountain of entertainment,” and HBO Max upon its launch was described as “Where HBO Meets So Much More.”