We are in the midst of a huge sea change in the way that people view Movies and TV programmes.
The big winners since the outbreak of the pandemic are the streamers. One of the biggest winners is Netflix who have just released their first quarter financial results. As at 31st March subscriber numbered 183m, up 23% from the previous year. This resulted in the first Quarter’s Profit of $709m, up from $344m the previous year. The major growth for Netflix is outside USA; there was an extra 7m subscribers in Europe and the Middle East, 2.9m extra subscribers in Latin America and 3.6m extra subscribers in Asia.
Disney are also surging ahead with their streaming channel. Disney+ launched last October with 10m subscribers, by January this year that was up to 28.6m, and the current number is thought to be in the region of 80m.
In the UK the number of people subscribing to the major streamers, (including Netflix, Disney and Amazon Prime) now exceeds the number of people watching Pay TV.
And sadly, the major loser is the theatrical cinema. Last week in my blog 'The Last Picture Show - The State of Cinema', I highlighted the financial challenge facing AMC, I can report that it has not got better. It is now believed that AMC will have to file very shortly for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Pre-Covid the group made several acquisitions financed by cheap debt, which looked manageable at the time. Now, with over 700 theatres closed and with no revenue coming in, the group is in dire need of a cash stimulus.
So, while theatres are closed and movies including ‘Dune’, ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ and ‘Black Widow’ are firmly sealed in cans at present, streamers such as Netflix are premiering great movies such as ‘The Trial of The Chicago 7’ an amazing new film written and directed by Aaron Sorkin.