By Melissa Houghton
Netflix has enjoyed nearly free reign of TV and movie offerings via its streaming platform for over nine years. Their mission to dominate video rentals stemmed from the obliteration of Blockbuster Video. Let’s not forget Netflix started out as a DVD rentals-by-mail service. Its business has been booming ever since they introduced a streaming subscription service as well. Since entering as a key player in streaming services and with net earnings of $1.21B USD, Netflix has been a formidable media presence yet was relying on licensed programming.
Well, the streaming wars are about to get more interesting. Not only does Netflix have to contend with established Prime Video (owned by Amazon), but Apple TV+ launches in November, followed by Disney+. Each service is ramping up production or funding curated programming on its services. For example, Netflix ponied up an est. $160MM USD, with no interference, for soon-to-be-released The Irishman (2019) directed by Martin Scorsese. In a recent interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Scorsese said he doesn’t think there are any traditional studios willing to make the kinds of movies he wants to make, “it’s over, it’s finished”.
On the Horizon
- Already a player in all things tech and software apps, it cannot be more rattling than to have Apple joining the fray and going big with the release of a highly anticipated series, “The Morning Show.” Co-exec producers, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, will be at war to achieve the best ratings in morning television, after their beleaguered star property, played by Steve Carrell is fired – think improper and unsanctioned physical misbehaviour.
- This fall, Disney+ and Apple TV+ both launch streaming services. Followed by HBO Max and NBC’s Universal Peacock in the spring of 2020.
Already, Disney is prohibiting Netflix from advertising on its new platform, while who knows what will happen to each of these media titans – how will they attract the same viewers going forward?
What about us?
We’re all hoping there will be a ton of new content because who wants to pay for oodles of syndicated content? Reruns.
We only have two eyes, and only so much discretionary income to go around. What will be the deciding factor to attract, retain and gain new customers?
Content, content and more FRESH content. People have limited attention spans and hey you streaming services – you’d better strike hard. Lest you find yourself competing with another streaming service, or horrors – contending with folks not willing to pay any amount and stealing your content anyway – everyone loves free lunch.
All this to say, viewers have been the holy grail on traditional platforms – whether it be network or cable TV and the epic battle of streaming titans will be quite interesting to watch.
Childhood memories of sitting with hushed audiences in dark theatres – before, during and sometimes after a shocking conclusion, shaped Melissa’s love of movies. Her passion for film spans many genres and go-to’s are Indies, Sci-fi and Costume dramas. An image of Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Ladyexplains her life-long love of hats. Melissa works in marketing by day. She feels the arts saved her life and is a devoted year-round and festival volunteer for several arts and cultural organizations. She’s been a Toronto International Film Festival volunteer since 2003. Melissa recently fulfilled a wish to join the Sundance Film Festival volunteer roster and has a desire to meet Robert Redford. Melissa will be returning to Sundance for her fifth straight year in 2019. During this Sundance working-vacation, Melissa volunteers on the Artist Relations Box Office team as Box Office Associate. Melissa’s desert island picks are Alien, The Godfather, The Witches of Eastwick, Little Miss Sunshine and My Fair Lady. Melissa’s focus will be independent films. By the way, she has not met Robert Redford, yet.