Disruption of the Entertainment Industry

If you wanted to watch a movie right now, how would you go about it? Would you send a group text to see if anyone wants to go to the theater to see something new? Nah, then you’re just going to argue about which movie to see, decide on one that neither of you really want to see that bad, and then end up staying at home because you won’t have enough time to stop and get snacks before it starts.Would you look through the random collection of DVDs that you’ve acquired throughout your life? Nah, those are just a bunch of half-assed Christmas presents and the copy of Inception you bought so you could finally put in the time to “get it”. Would you channel surf until you find a movie that you’re vaguely interested in? Nah, because then you’ll just end up watching the last half of Forrest Gump for the third time in a month. So here we are: decision time. Well, I guess you could just look through the hundreds of movies offered instantly by Netflix and pick one of those. Especially since you’re already on Netflix watching random episodes of Bob’s Burgers while you’ve been deciding how to watch a movie.

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My point is: the consumption of media is becoming much easier and much much quicker. Back in the day, top TV and production moguls had to scheme very hard to build themselves up to the virtually untouchable organizations that they had become. Today, companies like Fox, Viacom, Comcast, CBS, Time Warner, and Disney are now having to do something they probably never thought they’d have to do again.  These companies are now being forced to compete with streaming services such as Netflix.

What makes this competition so interesting is the change in nature it caused within the entertainment industry. The previously mentioned industry behemoths were able to reach such status due to a synergetic attitude held by the industry prior to the introduction of streamable media. After this introduction, these senior companies can be seen scrambling back to their individual lairs to devise their newest schemes. A recent example of this scrambling can be seen in Disney’s latest decision to pull all their content from Netflix and start their own streaming service. Another example of this scrambling can be seen in the 30% ownership of Hulu, a competing streaming service, held by Fox and Disney (30% each; 60% total).

With these kinds of moves being made by such big contenders, Netflix has been busy with their rebuttal: original content. This move has added to Netflix’s original disruption of the industry in a couple big ways. One way Netflix’s original content is disrupting the industry is by adding another contender to the bidding war for actors. The best part about this is that Netflix actually pulls a significant amount of desirable talent away from their competitors. Another form of disruption caused by Netflix’s original content is the change in method of movie and show releases. In regards to the release method of Netflix original movies, they are available for stream immediately upon release; an entirely new way to consume freshly released films. As for the release of shows, Netflix goes with the unconventional route of releasing full seasons at a time. Releasing such large quantities of consumable media at a time even led to the inevitable phenomenon known as binge watching.
As one can see, the old way of doing things within the entertainment industry is changing thanks to newer companies like Netflix. Now all we can do as consumers is wait to see how these older companies decide to react to this disruption and collectively pray that they aren’t able to beat Netflix into submission.

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