The Corona crisis has intensified trends in the film industry that were already visible before: more and more streaming subscription services such as Netflix, Prime Video, Sky and, more recently, Disney+ and Apple TV+ are competing with each other with partly exclusive content, which leads to a problem for viewers and film studios: in order to see the latest hottest series and films, viewers would actually have to take out a large number of subscriptions. For example, series such as "Bridgerton," "The Last Dance" or "Queens Gambit" run on Netflix, "American Gods" or "Upload" on Prime Video, "Ted Lasso" on Apple TV+, "Gangs of London" on Sky and the big hit "The Mandalorian" on Disney+. The exclusive in-house productions in particular are intended to attract viewers; in addition, there is licensed content from other film studios, but this is usually only available on a streaming service for a limited period of time - so viewers often find it very confusing what is currently running where and for how long.
Disney&s "The Mandalorian"
The monthly amounts of the individual services are not too large, but several subscriptions quickly add up to considerable sums annually, and you still don&t have access to all the movies (and especially older movies are hardly represented). With music services it is different, there are several alternatives that make all significant parts of ever produced popular music available for a relatively low subscription price, something that is not foreseeable for movies due to the big competition situation and licensing deals.
Prime Video "American Gods"
The fragmentation also leads to a problem for the industry: as even more players (major movie studios such as Paramount) want to get in on the action and market their content exclusively through their own streaming service, the competition for subscribers is getting tougher and refinancing movies is getting harder - at least if after a period of fierce competition, there aren&t a few winners left to take all the viewers. Cinema closures around the world during the Corona crisis have made this digital distribution of theatrical films directly to viewers even more important for financing films.
Netflix "The Queens Gambit"
According to a study by Muso&s piracy analysts, more and more viewers who don&t want to or can&t spend that much money on current series seem to be turning to illegal streaming portals, because that&s where many hit movies and series from various streaming services can be found under one roof - for free (Muso says it determines these figures by analyzing access to illegal streaming sites, downloads, torrents as well as stream rippers).
Visits to illegal streaming sites in Germany, for example, increased by 36% from February 2020 to March 2021 (and by as much as 66% in Italy) - in parallel with the sharp increase in subscribers of streaming subscriptions to major providers such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. This home theater boom is, of course, a logical consequence of the corona crisis and temporary lockdowns - but the big question is how many streaming services can share the market and be profitable in the long run. And what will production services look like for filmmakers after a major shakeout has come.