“If the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020 proved anything beyond the importance of masks and social distancing in slowing down a pandemic, it’s just how much people value their streaming services when most other forms of entertainment — theaters, concert venues, museums — are closed. With folks stuck at home, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV+ got millions of new subscribers. In the worst of times, it was the best of times — for streaming. Now, as all those services look to the new year, they have to figure out how to keep all those new viewers around.”Source: Angela Watercutter, Wired
AT A GLANCE:
With viewers stuck at home, streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV+ got a major boost from the COVID pandemic but will need to determine how to maintain audience share in 2021, Angela Watercutter writes at Wired.
Disney recently laid out an ambitious plan in its 2020 Investor Day presentation, announcing roughly 22 Marvel and Star Wars projects starting at the studio next year. This multibillion-dollar slate is part of the Mouse House’s effort to reach a projected 230 million-plus subscribers by the end of the 2024 fiscal year. Disney+ currently has 86 million subscribers, and that goal would put them well ahead of Netflix’s current base of 195 million users. At the same time, Warner Bros. announced that it is planning day-and-date releases for its entire 2021 theatrical slate on HBO Max, including the highly anticipated cinema projects Dune and Matrix 4. (The move prompted outcry from theater chains and filmmakers alike, including director Denis Villeneuve.)
But with so many households already signed up, industry analyst Maria Rua Aguete cautions that the industry could be headed for a major cooling trend in 2021. “The four fastest-growing services of 2020 were Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney+, and Amazon Prime,” Aguete wrote in a recent report. “All saw significant net adds stemming from Covid-affected markets. In 2021, all these services are expected to see significant declines in net additions. For Netflix and Amazon, 2021 will be their smallest year of growth in absolute terms since 2015.”
Head over to Wired to read the full story.