Wed. May 29th, 2024

In today’s society, customers have a range of streaming services to watch new and old movies and shows in the comfort of their own homes. From the big guys like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max and Disney+, to new ones like Discovery+ and Paramount Plus. Over the years Netflix has been looked at as the model streaming service as other Media companies looked to have their service. But, according to new reports, Netflix might have to get back to the drawing board. Variety’s Brian Steinberg reports “Netflix’s disclosure on Tuesday that it lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter and expects to lose 2 million more in months to come, has set the industry on edge — not because Netflix is a barometer of entertainment-sector health, but because it is furthest along the path that rivals ranging from Apple to Warner Bros and Discovery are all treading. In an era when more consumers want to watch their favorite programs at times of their choosing, every media conglomerate and new-tech Hollywood hopeful has reworked itself into an organization focused increasingly on streaming, rather than the linear TV that is still the core of the overall business….To be sure, Netflix’s subscriber shortfall comes during a unique period, one in which many U.S. companies are cutting ties with consumers in Russia and when pandemic patterns may have taken an outsize hold on how media companies operate. But there are other signs that when it comes to signing up for new streaming subscriptions, consumers have started to buffer.” With that news, CNN announced its extra content service will be shutting down in the coming weeks as well. Steinberg says the “company’s new corporate parent, Warner Bros. Discovery, looks to focus more intently on a single streaming portal that combines Discovery+ and HBO Max. Warner Bros. Discovery has already cut the marketing budget for CNN+, one of these people said, though its shows remain in production. How much wider can people open their pocketbooks and wallets for streaming? Penetration of subscription video-on-demand services stood at 81.4% in the first quarter of 2022, according to Kantar, compared with 81.6% in the last quarter of 2021. Ad-supported streaming services continue to grow, according to the market-research firm, but that too is slowing. Penetration of ad-supported services stood at 25.3% in the first quarter, compared with 24.4% at the end of last year. Simply put, the nation’s leading streamers may have reached an intriguing new phase: maturity. “We are seeing growth in new subscriptions at new services like Peacock and Paramount+ versus the more established services of Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and Amazon,” says media analyst Michael Nathanson in a Wednesday-morning research note.” So it seems to be an “out with old in with the new” movement happening with the streaming services as new ones are introduced. This doesn’t necessarily mean the juggernauts are just gonna fade away with no resistance. All of them still have a wide audience and library to improve upon and appeal to a newer group of consumers. The landscape is changing though in the streaming game. 

Isaiah Ireland is a first-year Media & Culture major.

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