There’s a lot of soul-searching going on in the pages of the FT about the future for streaming TV. Both Netflix and Disney Plus are reporting slowdowns in growth.
It’s a bit of an odd one – both have grown beyond investors’ wildest dreams due to the demands from locked-down audiences during the pandemic and that growth is now slowing. But during the pandemic, a lot of projections were dramatically adjusted upwards and it is those forecasts that are now not being met. The FT reports [£] that, while Disney Plus subscriptions rose to 118m in the quarter (up 60% the previous year), it was still below targets of 119.6m.
But from the point of view of the production sector, this is an eye-watering amount of demand at the moment. The FT reported [£]….
“Netflix is set to spend $17bn on content this year. During the third quarter alone, Netflix released 824 episodes of programming, while streaming services HBO Max released just over 200 and Disney Plus around 150, according to MoffettNathanson, a research company.”
Spending more on new content is widely seen as the solution to all of this, which (if you think a boom of demand is a good thing) is good news.
It does remain to be seen how far that will continue to be seen to be the solution here though. There’s always the worry that the circus may leave town – part of the perfect storm that I’ve posted about here previously. It’s also interesting that “more non-UK focused content” may not be the key to growth with UK audiences, though other markets are more willing to welcome imports.