Hardscrabble 🍫

By Max Jacobson

See also: the archives and an RSS feed

Streaming sites and their bad URLs

October 1, 2023

Why do streaming sites have such poor URLs?

Here’s a quick survey of the field:

Site Example series URL
Amazon Prime Gen V https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B0CBFTRGPZ/
Apple TV+ Ted Lasso https://tv.apple.com/us/show/ted-lasso/umc.cmc.vtoh0mn0xn7t3c643xqonfzy
Disney+ Bluey https://www.disneyplus.com/series/bluey/1xy9TAOQ0M3r
Hulu Only Murders in the Building https://www.hulu.com/series/ef31c7e1-cd0f-4e07-848d-1cbfedb50ddf
Max Friends https://play.max.com/show/52dae4c7-2ab1-4bb9-ab1c-8100fd54e2f9
Netflix One Piece https://www.netflix.com/title/80217863
Paramount+ Star Trek: The Original Series (Remastered) https://www.paramountplus.com/shows/star_trek/
Peacock Killing It https://www.peacocktv.com/watch/asset/tv/killing-it/5156438808822262112
Tubi Hannibal https://tubitv.com/series/300000159/hannibal

Of these, the best one is clearly Paramount+, because it’s human-readable and free of any junk. If I were feeling uncharitable, I might ding it for using snake case rather than kebab case, but I’m willing to concede that’s a matter of taste.

In the second tier are Apple TV+, Disney+, Peacock, and Tubi which all contain the series name somewhere in their URL. They don’t make it easy for you to read them, because there’s some amount of junk mixed in there too, but it’s possible.

When I see a URL like that, I want to test if they actually validate the human-readable bit. Let’s see:

Site Example series Fake URL
Apple TV+ Ted Lasso https://tv.apple.com/us/show/sad-soccer-show/umc.cmc.vtoh0mn0xn7t3c643xqonfzy
Disney+ Bluey https://www.disneyplus.com/series/sad-dog-show/1xy9TAOQ0M3r
Peacock Killing It https://www.peacocktv.com/watch/asset/tv/silly-snake-scenarios/5156438808822262112

And indeed, two out of those three work. Good for Peacock going that extra mile.

In a distant last place, of course, are Hulu, Netflix, Max, and Amazon Prime, which don’t make an effort to be human-readable at all. Boo.

Note: I don't have comments or analytics on this website, so it's hard to tell if people are reading or enjoying it. Please feel free to share any feedback or thoughts by shooting me an email or tagging me in a post on Mastodon @maxjacobson@mastodon.online.