Streaming Industry to Double-Down on Variety and Innovation in Face of Crunch

Netflix stock plummeted, streaming platforms across the board laid off thousands of workers, and almost all of the major players bumped their prices. Ironically, in order to watch the majority of the shows that manage to rise to the status of popular, you need to pay for multiple subscriptions that essentially add up to the price of premium TV bundles. Now, many of the platforms are even toying with the idea of ad-supported subscription tiers.

It’s a troubling time for the industry that grossly overestimated its worth, forcing leaders to go all-in on variety and innovation.

Variety will conquer niche

In the online entertainment space, being broad – but maintaining high quality – is key. It’s what we see ultimately win in the even more competitive space of iGaming. In this industry, themed slots are king, but that’s a very general category. Developers create games in a myriad of themes to appeal to the broadest possible audience. Creators like Pragmatic Play offer these popular ones as well as several unique themes, like in Great Rhino Megaways or El Dorardo: The City of Gold.

Of course, iGaming platforms get to draw from several developers to create a vast and varied library of games. Many major streaming platforms run their own exclusive or original shows and movies, but a lot of them come from the same core of creatives or the same company direction. This hurts variety as, even if the settings and actors change, there’s still a clear sense of belonging among the other originals.

However, those platforms that have become specialized will almost certainly fall by the wayside or get gobbled up to help expand variety on larger platforms in the coming years. The likes of BritBox will likely survive as the content is quite varied – drawing from several British companies and studios – but the much more niche platforms of a more questionable quality and a lack of variety will either be struggling now or will begin to soon.

Innovating to enhance the appeal further

Their business and tax practices may be the epitome of late capitalism, and what they allowed to be aired under the banners of The Wheel of Time and The Lord of the Rings is repugnant, but Prime Video is the perfect example of value-added innovation. It’s actually there to fuel the free-delivery subscribers, get more people buying into the online variety store, and consolidate a bunch of services under one Amazon account.

Other services don’t have the luxury of being tied to one of the largest eCommerce companies in the world, so they need to innovate elsewhere. Innovation can lead to further variety, after all, as shown by Netflix creating some interactive shows and mobile app spin-offs. However, innovating as Quibi seemed to with its full commitment to short-form content, it was clearly a step too far.

One way that content could be innovated right now would be by creating and keeping high-quality series of films and TV shows. Truly worthwhile new and original shows and movies are a dime-a-dozen on the major streaming platforms, as the approach has been on quantity over quality. This does play into the need for variety, but that variety needs to be top-draw to be worth sinking hours into and remain enticing.

Well-written prestige movies and shows would be a sign of innovation at this point. Millions still stick with premium TV because the channels often produce top-tier shows that get people talking. Just look at House of the Dragon, Euphoria, The Last of Us, Succession, The White Lotus, and True Detective. All of these are top-tier shows, and all have arrived on Sky Atlantic over the last year or so.

The streaming market will consolidate but to get the edge over the remaining competition, platforms simply need to invest in high-quality writing and good production value.

Disclaimer: Gambling involves an element of financial risk and maybe addictive. Please play responsibly and at your own risk. This post contains material that may or may not be legal in your country. Please play/not play subject to applicable law.

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