The Future of Streaming: Global Expansion and a Content Revolution

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With a significant increase in streaming over traditional TV consumption, media publishers look at global expansion to keep up with the growing competition.

The takeaways: 
  • As streaming looks to surpass traditional TV viewership over the next six months, publishers begin to explore global expansion opportunities.
  • The competition for relevance and profitability amongst streaming publishers will continue to grow over the next few years, as they shift their focus from broadcast to CTV.
  • The content selection will change dramatically as publishers cater to global audiences. Such change may lead to new landscapes for feature film production and distribution.

The pandemic accelerates trends: A huge increase in viewership across all major streaming platforms during COVID-19 has fast-tracked the shift from broadcast TV to CTV.

  • Axios recently reported that Fox News, ViacomCBS, Discovery and Disney are all exploring opportunities to launch international paid streaming services to increase subscriber numbers. Not too surprisingly,  Netflix was months ahead of the game.
How will publishers be affected? 

Competing with the giants of Netflix and Prime is only one of the obstacles publishers will face in the forecasted shift.

  • UK-based platform Britbox is launching in 25 countries, but with a fraction of the budget of some of its competitors, it could be one of many streaming platforms to be pushed under by fierce competition.
  • Similarly, rumours are circulating that the Disney-owned SVoD Hulu could be eclipsed by their new international service branded as Star, which will focus on more original content rather than aggregating third-party content as Hulu currently does.
  • Consumer budgets are limited, and viewers will only pay for the services they deem worthwhile, which could increase the need for subscription bundles, uniting some of the smaller platforms.

A content revolution: The uncertain future of the movie box office and the growing competition between platforms could mean that the next few years will transform the level of quality content from SVoD services.

Zoom out: As TV networks scramble to build international audiences, the industry is looking at a cultural shift in content and consumer behaviour, emblematic of the chaos of pandemic-era 2020.

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