… for Random Weirdness
Tip #1740: Streaming Media Reshapes Entertainment
“It’s not either / or. There’s room for both.” (HBO)
This article, written by Chris McGowan, first appeared in VFXVoice.com. This is a summary.
At the start of 2020, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other streamers were already reshaping the movie and television-watching experience. Then came the pandemic. As home entertainment demand soared, movie theaters shut down and film and TV suffered a slump in production. Studios postponed premieres and tinkered with movie release strategies. Streaming services benefited from the increased demand and grew across the board. Due to all the disruptions that followed – either because of or accelerated by COVID-19 – the new decade seems set to become “the Streaming ’20s.”
Netflix continued its remarkable rise in 2020 and dominated Nielsen’s top 10 lists of most-streamed titles, with both old and new titles. The streamer continues to pump out original programming. It will launch 70-plus original movies this year, 10 of them in languages other than English. Netflix added 37 million paid subscribers in 2020, to stand at 203.7 million worldwide at the end of the year, according to the company.
The Walt Disney Company reported that Disney+ had nearly 95 million subscribers worldwide as of its first quarter of 2021, according to research firm Statista, which reports a growth in the service’s subscriber base of almost 70 million since the start of the fiscal year of 2020. The service launched November 12, 2019. Meanwhile, Hulu (controlled by Disney) reached 39.4 million subscribers by year’s end.
This year, some streamers are charging “premium” fees to access certain new films early, while others are offering tiered subscription pricing. Disney+ charged a $29.99 one-time “Premier Access” fee for Mulan last September and Raya and the Last Dragon in March of this year that offered exclusive access to the titles before they became free to regular subscribers.
Gregory K. Peters, Netflix COO and Chief Product Officer, has a different view about tiers. “We really believe that from a consumer orientation the simplicity of our ad-free, no additional payments, one subscription [is] really powerful and really satisfying to the consumers around the world. And so, we want to keep emphasizing that.”
The article – linked above – has more interviews and thoughts on how the streaming wars are changing both theatrical and in-home entertainment.