Cataline shall now quote Cataline:
Netflix owned 100% of the streaming market, which means anyone getting into the streaming business is going to be cutting into Netflix’s market share. They just posted their first quarterly loss of customers since their price hike debacle and it wasn’t a small one. Disney, Amazon, Apple, Warner Media, MGM (yeah they still exist), YouTube Red, CBS and (now that Disney has muscled them out of Hulu), NBC-Universal will all have streaming services next year. And this isn’t even counting small fry streamers like Funimation and Shudder. Hell, there’s this guy who runs a far right blog and he’s gotten into streaming with this thing called Unauthorized.TV (Give the link a click. It’s worth a look, trust me on this point).
2020 is going to be a watershed year for Netflix… Or rather a customer shed year. Twenty-five of their top fifty shows are going to be gone and everybody is going to be eating their lunch.
Having kicked the tires on Disney Plus for about a week, it’s clear that this product is meant for the hardcore Disneyphile. Some of the back titles like Darby O’Gill and the Little People (featuring a singing Sean Connery) are pretty obscure generally but are well known in D23 circles. Others like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea are better known. The 1970s family comedies are all there, (I think).
While Marvel and Star Wars content is available, the only thing that is generating any real interest, that you can’t get anywhere else is, The Mandalorian, (saw the second episode, still good BTW).
Disney Plus is looking like a specialty channel for a specialty market. Now, it’s a decent market but it’s not going to dethrone Netflix anytime soon. Although, Netflix’s death of a thousand cuts will begin in earnest about the middle of next year.
One thing that I’m curious about is how will the fractalization of mass entertainment affect the market as a whole?
First, Actors are going to lose both influence (what little they had) as well as their paychecks. There will likely be a few A-Lister lottery winners but given that the pool of acting jobs will expand, their salaries will be driven down across the board as name recognition comes to mean about as much as the average Instagram Influencer. The movie star is a holdover from the 20th century and won’t survive much past 2050.
Second, Entertainment revenue is likely to decrease across the board. Seventy million people watched the opening of Disneyland in 1955. Disney Plus was high-fiving themselves with an opening of ten million subscribers. 2020 starts in a month and a half, by 2030 the entertainment market will be almost unrecognizable.
Third, there will be a rightwing entertainment venue. The market pressure is there and has always been there but the studios became resistant to pandering to this market in the 1970s with the rise and entrenchment of the Boomer “Baby Moguls.” The Entertainment Oligopoly is no longer supportable in this new world. Market pressure will likely have its way. Heck, there is already a couple of channels out there.
Although, there is also possibility of a ‘Foxnews scenario.” One large rightwing entertainment venue and a myriad of small fry on the leftwing fighting it out among themselves for an ever decreasing market share
And naturally, there is also the possibility of a crackdown on Rightwing entertainment from Washington.
Always in motion is the future.
Okay, I’m done here.
10 thoughts on “Begun, The Streaming Wars Have”
Not going to watch the mandalorian.
Baby Yoda or not.
I did watch The Mandalorian thanks to a little bird giving me their login info. I like it! The show hits my Star Wars geek pleasure centers consistently (very much enjoyed the two Return of the Jedi callbacks in the first episode). However, given who is STILL in charge of Star Wars and Favreau’s public comments, I am sure that there’s a woke surprise coming.
It was fun to finally see an IG-series assassin droid in action, especially since Tales of the Bounty Hunters is my favorite old EU book. Also, baby Yoda is too damn cute. He looks more like a Mogwai than a Jedi Master.
The show didn’t accomplish its mission of making me want to spend money on Star Wars again, but it does have me interested.
Also, two things I love about Disney+ relative to its competitors:
1) Unlimited downloads. I take at least an hour bus ride to and from work every day (working on fixing that), and although it has wi-fi, it’s spotty at best because there’s usually one or more jackasses streaming video and hogging all the bandwidth (apparently the bus company had never heard of domain blocking). Being able to download a bunch of stuff to my iPad ahead of time is awesome.
2) Nostalgia. I grew up watching The Disney Afternoon from DuckTales right up until I discovered girls in the mid-90s, and pretty much every show from it is on there.
Agreed on your predictions. A GoT fan on the radio was crowing about how “everyone” watched it, so I looked up the ratings. It looks like it peaked at 32M viewers, or a bit under 10% of the US population (and I think some portion of that is foreign). If that was discussed around every water cooler the next morning, a lot of people were faking it. By contrast, the final episode of MASH was watched by over 100M people, about half the US population. “Who Shot J.R.?” got 83M and the Seinfeld finale got 72M. That era of Seinfeld and E.R., when NBC dominated, is probably the last time you could say “America” watched a TV show and be at all accurate. The fractalization started with cable and will accelerate with streaming.
On star power and pay declining, politics is also playing into that, as the male leads will have to be metrosexual and the female leads will have to be Brie Larson or Daisy Ridley types — attractive enough to be on screen, but not sexy like a Marilyn Monroe or even Angelina Jolie, and of course sporting the right off-putting attitude. The young stars are all sort of blandly attractive and interchangeable, which will make them easy to replace if they get demanding.
I think I looked it up, and if I remember correctly, the GoT finale scored as many eyeballs as the average viewing of the 8th ranked show of either ’79 or ’80, Little House on the Prairie. Add in that the country was about 25% smaller then, and GoT has little market penetration for most of the country.
I’m revealing myself as a Star Wars geek here, but: “They have an ig series assassin droid in ‘The Mandalorian’?! Holy crap!”
I’ve gotta figure out where I can watch this without enriching the Devilmouse.
After The Farce Aweakens I never thought I’d feel the need to see another Star Wars property… maybe I’m doing my best impression of a battered spouse, but… I’m actually excited. Damn.
They do! And for the brief time he’s on it, he’s awesome!
Apple looks to be DOA. Their original content is getting slagged. Everyone else has a niche or a catalog with which to begin. People forget that Netflix had an instant catalog because they used a questionable loophole to stream media that they had in their physical DVD catalog. Except for Amazon, everyone else has an existing library.
My prediction is you start to see a lot of consolidation in about five years as the smaller players find out the bucks aren’t there.
It’s why Apple is desperate to buy Sony Pictures.
Disney can attract a fairly wide audience but their line up isn’t that deep. It shows how shallow by the categories on the start page. Marvel, Disney, etc. How long before they run out of kiddie fare like Victorious and old Disney movies?
They need a broader list of TV shows.