Saturday, July 20, 2024

HBO Max, Netflix, Disney+ and The Day Streaming Died


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The date chiseled on the headstone will be May 23, 2023. That day HBO Max—a streaming service with a name that would be offensive if it didn’t have “HBO” in it—became just Max. The day max news was trending online and Max app was messing upNetflix attempts to launch quietly Limiting Who Can Share Passwords, This was the day streaming died.

Perhaps this statement is wildly exaggerated. But in the midst of tumultuous times in the streaming industry, it doesn’t feel entirely wrong either. Over the past three years, services like Netflix, Disney+ and a dozen other offerings with goofy titles have lost captive Covid-19-locked-down audiences, only to find subscriber churn brought on by a plethora of options.

To prevent loss of revenue, many—Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max—launched ad-supported tiers. It saved some people some money and brought in cash for corporations, but it also came at a time when streamers’ ever-changing lineup of shows and movies left many viewers confused about what bang they were getting for their buck. Are. For a long time it seemed as if some reckoning was coming. This week, it arrived.

Sarah Henschel, a principal analyst at Omdia who closely follows the streaming market, agrees that this is an inflection point. “We’re seeing a lot of these services approach maturity, whereas the last 10 years it’s been like the Wild West,” she says. “They’re all starting to face the reality that they have to make money now and they can’t give away all the content in the world for $5 anymore.”

Ever since Netflix got into the streaming game, and then the original content game with shows like House of cards, the landscape is changing. As tech companies like Netflix and Amazon rush to join the Hollywood production game, Hollywood itself scrambles to join streaming. New entrants invested millions in developing original movies and shows. Established studios launched their own streaming services—Disney+, Paramount+, Hulu—and in the process reclaimed the content they produced for themselves. Office went to the peacock. Friend (HBO) Max Gone.

The name of the game was Get Subscribers. And it worked – for a while. But it was too expensive, and soon streaming services found themselves in a position to reduce costs and offer ad-supported alternatives to keep subscribers or remove things from their libraries. Netflix, which has long blocked ads, will launch an ad-supported tier in late 2022. Meanwhile, shows like done by Disappeared from Max and got third party license Amidst the discussion of tax write-off For parent company Warner Bros. Discovery.

Suddenly, the brave new world of streaming felt a lot like the old established world of television, where shows bounced around in syndication and a handful of players vied to be broadcast’s Big Three (minus the actual broadcast). “There was an unbundling at the beginning of the streaming era,” Henschel says, pointing to the announcement earlier this month that Disney add hulu to disney+ later this year. “We are now in the rebundling phase.”