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Who Will Win The Streaming War?

by Contributing Author

Television and film have always been gigantic businesses. Some economists have argued that it is an industry that is “recession-proof” – due to the fact, there is always a demand for media. However, Hollywood has had a pincer-like grip on this industry for over half a Century.

As the world now lives on the internet, the battle to develop the next blockbuster TV series or movie is being played out online. Netflix was the first corporation to establish itself properly in this space.

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However, huge conglomerates have now moved in, sensing an opportunity to help themselves to some of the immense profits available. Many industries have changed forever because of the internet.

The entertainment industry is just one of many that have seen the landscape unfold into a new era. Other sectors, such as banking, healthcare and education, have seen similar seismic changes. Even specific industries in the digital entertainment scene, such as the casino industry, have witnessed colossal change. Physical casinos always enjoyed a sizeable market share. However, if you want to visit casino real money providers, many digital platforms can offer an equal, if not better, service, with crypto-powered rewards and welcome bonuses.

The Beginning

In the mid-2000s, video rental companies such as Blockbuster began to lose ground compared to the rise of online services. As a result, piracy became a big problem in the movie industry and is still today. Unfortunately, however, few legitimate operators could act as an alternative to online piracy.

It is estimated that piracy still costs the movie industry over $25 billion a year.

In 2007, the launch of Netflix was the first big move in an industry now worth hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Although other sites, such as Hulu, operated around this time, Netflix had a key focus on allowing people to pay monthly to watch films and TV shows as and when they wished.

2010s

Netflix enjoyed a sizeable market share throughout this decade, while many of its competitors were slow off the mark. This is highlighted today as Netflix have more subscribers than any of its competitors in the streaming world.

Despite a recent slump, they remain at the top, with around 200 million subscribers worldwide. Video streaming giants such as YouTube grew exponentially during the same period, but they focused on user videos they could upload themselves.

The model of Netflix worked akin to a box office where you could access anything for a fixed monthly fee. Amazon Prime entered the race as the first serious competitor in 2011 and is estimated to have 200 million subscribers.

Netflix had a robust business model that focussed solely on entertainment. However, they were coming up against a company that was one of the most profitable in the world and had the financial arm to muscle in on the sector.

2019 Onwards

The race started to heat up at the end of the 2010s when other giant corporations decided to launch their own platforms. As a result, Disney+, Paramount and Apple TV all start battling it out for supremacy.

More traditional, high-quality services such as HBO also developed HBO Max for their subscribers. Disney+ posted substantial subscriber numbers due to their back catalogue containing the likes of Star Wars and The Simpsons, thought to be in the region of 160 million subscribers.

The return of their pioneering ex-CEO, Bob Iger, also thrilled investors, and he has placed particular emphasis on moving into the streaming sector.

With other titles under their umbrella, including Marvel and classic Disney cartoons, they have a strong position in the market and a visionary CEO.

Within 12 to 18 months, the space became inundated with feature-length TV shows, movies, and A-listers. If you used all these services, you were looking at upwards of $100 a month.

These battles became more intense during Covid-19 as many people were locked down and spending hours a day watching streaming services.

Netflix rebranded some of their shows as “originals”. However, that word was used fairly liberally, given a lot of the releases had been established and written on other platforms and TV channels beforehand.

In any event, an embarrassment of riches has infiltrated the streaming space. Netflix has experienced a slump in users for the first time. Many other of these streaming services have also reported slumps in subscriber numbers.

As the cost of living crisis begins to bite and inflation steadily rises, disposable income takes a hit. Usually, luxury items like streaming services will be the first to go.

Conclusion

However, people will still want to consume TV or film media. There’s unlikely that many people with disposable income will have time to pay $100 to watch everything these platforms offer.

The real battle in this space will likely focus on the quality of content and which platform has the most extensive range of content.

Disney+ could be a strong contender to emerge from the streaming battle in a great position. With Marvel, Pixar and huge films like Star Wars, they’re in a great position.

In addition, with a multi-billion dollar financial arm and a true trailblazing visionary at the helm, you’d expect them to start aiming for Netflix’s amount of subscribers.

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