Short-term Entertainment Platform Evolution

Naomi Sarah-Lee


Since the pandemic started it's been hard for all of us and we’ve had to switch into new routines and most importantly, our sources of entertainment through these troubling times. Due to the closing of most theaters the film industry has seen a shift and has to turn to other mediums to get their films out there to the public to see.


Movie streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Comcast and etc, have had studios turn to them to get movies out this year and have also turned to direct streaming on their platforms. Universal Studios debuted their family film “Trolls World Tour” earlier this year and put on home entertainment platform ‘Comcast’ in April and racked up $100 million from rental fees the first three weeks. Along with the trolls movie Universal studios right after put movies like thrillers, The invisible man , The Hunt and more available on comcast too for viewers to rent. Universal studios isn't the only one benefiting from the switch to release of movies on streaming platforms. Shortly after they decided to release their movies to on-demand streaming platforms, many other platforms thought to follow Universals lead. 


The economics behind the approach for studios to put their movies on streaming sites is a big motivating factor. When studios sell their movies to big movies streaming platforms the streamer gives the studio immediate cash infusion whereas renting takes longer for them to recoup cost- money-increases regularly with each rental. Some projects that Hollywood will lose $20 billion, this will likely increase the longer lockdowns remain. Reports show that ever since lockdown started consumer spending on movie streaming sites have increased from 20% to 50% and, some,their shares have increased,for example,netflix has seen it’s shares go up 0.8% in one week. With all these financial increases for these streaming platforms this means more subscribers, in the third quarter of 2020 Netflix has a total of 73.08 million paying subscribers based on the us. Disney plus has also had a big surge in subscriptions with 60.5 million subscribers in total since it was launched November 12, 2019.


Even though there has been a short term change and growth in how we entertain ourselves during the pandemic, some have wondered about what will happen in the long term. Movie theater experts say there could be a shutdown and several of them already have shut down. Cineworld, owner of regal cinemas, has decided to suspend operations in the U.S and the U.K affecting 45,000 employees, with renewed fears on covid their shares in the U.K plummeted 42%.


With studios looking to big movie streaming platforms to put out their films out there, there has been a change in how they put out entertainment and a new found economic benefit for them. They have  become our source of sanity during these hard times and have sort of given us a reason to try to keep our spirits high.