There’s a slew of problems.
Here was the laughable pitch for FX+. Here’s a $6/month streaming service that has a bunch of FX content on it and you can watch it all ad-free. The catch is, you still have to have some sort of cable log-in to watch all of the said FX content, most of which is already available on Demand or on numerous streaming services like Hulu or Netflix. The worst thing about FX+ that should be seen as a warning sign to other upstart streaming services?
No exclusive content. Yea, the cable login is pretty bad as well and the marketing push behind it was non-existent, but in an era when streaming services are meant to be an independent entity to the infrastructures of the past not in addition to, it’s clear that FX+ was a streaming service thought up by cable-providers and treated as such. The death of FX+ will hopefully be a head on the stake of other streaming services that have failed that will showcase the growing bubble’s other failures and help the new services be better prepared for the future.
As for FX Networks. Disney will have to make some decisions about the future of the bundle of networks that also include FX, FXX, and FXM. While FX Movies serves somewhat of a purpose in areas of the country that might not have access to high-speed internet, FXX continues to fail at launching any new intellectual properties and is certainly a relic of a time where it matters that you had networks subscribing to specific genres. While competing network Comedy Central has diversified some it’s network to news talk shows, stand-up comedy, original series, and others, FXX only has The Simpsons, which is a concept that probably works to some respect, but in an age where FOX also airs episodes of The Simpsons all the time as does incoming Freeform, the network is going to need to do something different to try and make it a unique offering. They had a real show with Animation Domination-Hi Def, but despite strong content, the lineup had no marketing support and no decent lead-ins which lead to the line-up’s eventual death.
The lesson to be learned here? If you’re going to launch a streaming service, it can’t be a half-assed effort like FX+. You’re either in it or you’re not. Clearly, FX Networks was not.