The streaming video battle has "just began," and companies looking to solidify their dominance may pursue M&A deals to help them along the way, New York Times tech reporter Cecilia Kang said Monday on CNBC's "Squawk Box."
A Shifting Streaming Business
Throughout the 2010s, the at-home environment was defined by internet streaming companies "taking over" cable, Kang said.
More recently, streaming companies have faced new competition from companies in the telecom sector that are leveraging content they purchased or partnered with to extend their services over cable lines.
For example, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) acquired Time Warner to gain "very valuable content" it can sell to its wireless and telecom subscribers, Kang said.
This combination of "pipes and the content providers" gives companies like AT&T their very own "streaming cable service and infrastructure," she said.
Eyes On Next Moves By Verizon, YouTube
After AT&T's large-scale acquisition, there are "big questions" as to how rival telecom provider Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) will respond, Kang said.
Even industry titans like YouTube have an unclear path ahead, she said.
The streaming video market extends well beyond the U.S., but many of the biggest names haven't looked overseas yet, Guardian tech reporter Alex Hern also said on "Squawk Box."
For example, Disney+ hasn't made its way over to the United Kingdom, while HBO Max is "showing no signs" it is coming anytime soon.
American streaming giants are wrong in thinking winning the international market will be an easy battle, Hern said.
At the end of the day, homegrown material "wherever you are" is surprisingly popular, he said.
"It's not all about who owns 'Friends,' 'The Office' or 'Frasier,'" he said.