A mixture of influences has seen home entertainment solution sales steadily but gradually exceed studio revenues (Marketing, 2016). Companies like Netflix are now now producing and distributing their own material, which can be a matter of frustration for studio owners. When television sets get more efficient and access to the internet cheaper, moving to streaming would pose more and more of a challenge. There are a few precious defenses that can be installed by the studio industry, but even those may not be enough. Home entertainment, and particularly streaming, is an upward trend with more advantages than drawbacks. Indications are that the pattern is just starting. Context
Streaming is where one watches media content on the internet in real time; he or she does not have to wait for it to download. The present situation has been made possible by a confluence of two factors; internet enabled TVs and devices and faster and cheaper internet. Watching movies on a tablet might be a chore but watching it on a large, High-Definition television is almost at par with watching it at a theater. Companies like Netflix have taken the opportunity and become not only creators but producers of content as well (Afuah, 69). The convenience offered by streaming is hard to beat and that should worry the film industry.
The key advantage in the equation is convenience. With streaming, one can select from thousands of films and programs (Smith & Telong, 43). He or she can watch a film from a decade ago at any time he or she wants. Additionally, streaming is mostly done in one’s personal space so the person enjoys considerable freedom as well. One can make his or her own snacks, pause, forward or rewind the movie and generally be in control. There is also the cost factor. A movie on Netflix is far cheaper than a movie ticket at a theater. The convenience of home entertainment at the touch of a button is hard to beat especially if the TV provides a theater-like experience.
One key con of streaming is that it takes the social aspect away from movie watching. Going to the theater is a ritual and the process is part of the experience. Additionally, enjoying the movie in a building specifically designed for the purpose does add a lot to the experience (Smith & Telong, 79). Another con is that the upfront cost of a good experience is quite high. One has to get a quality television so as to get an experience close to a movie one and they are not cheap. There is also the cost of high speed internet. Getting a good streaming experience does take a lot of investment and one has to sacrifice the social connotations of movie watching.
Streaming is already a threat to the film industry and changes in technology will ensure that it becomes more of a threat in the future. Quality, internet enabled televisions are getting cheaper and so is high speed internet. What that means is that more and more people will afford to stay home and stream their movies. The key driver of streaming is the convenience that the customer gets; he or she is in complete control of the experience. However, a good experience does demand significant investment and forces one to give up many of the social aspects of movie watching. (567)
Afuah, Allan. Business Model Innovation: Concepts, analysis, and cases. New York, NY: Routeledge. 2014. Print.
Marketing. (2016). 4 technology trends affecting the film industry. Tribeca Flashpoint College.
Smith, Michael D., & Telang, Rahul. (2016). Streaming, sharing, stealing: Big data and the future of entertainment. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.