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A Straight to Streaming Plan

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The entertainment industry has fallen on hard times this year as theatre and cinema visitors drop to an all-time low – but it hasn’t only been the difficulties faced in 2020 that have caused this shift as numbers have been steadily dropping with the rise in popularity of online streaming services, and it certainly seems that this is being accounted for and taken on board as steps towards a streaming first approach are starting to happen.

This year had already seen a number of options released straight to an online streaming alternative, Universals Trolls did so at the start of the year and to great success as it was able to generate more revenue in just a few weeks of streaming than the previous cinema release was able to during a full run. Disney would also follow suit with two big releases later in the year with both Hamilton and the live-action remake of Mulan – with Hamilton forgoing the full theatrical release that was expected it was able to top the charts as the most streamed piece of online content for a number of weeks showing just how successful the transition can be, and with cinemas unable to properly show the Mulan release it had followed the same pattern with a direct release to streaming. Disney would also go on to say that its big focus would be on direct streaming services and that more releases in the future could be expected to come straight to Disney+.

(Image from rte.ie)

It seems Disney wouldn’t be the only one to do so either as Warner Bros announced that in 2021 all major releases would be out on both HBO Max and cinema releases at the same time signalling a big change in the industry – if this approach is successful, then it can be expected that other big services will start to follow the same path as big streaming successes make new releases more accessible to viewers across the world.

Movies and TV haven’t been the only service to make a major switch to an online space either as others which had been rooted in a more traditional approach have started to change too – mobile gaming serves as a great example of this shift and how it can be successful as the huge successes found in the growing number of online casinos have started to replace brick and mortar locations for many – despite changes in regulation such as Gamstop, many operators have been able to find ways to deliver non-stop casinos like these to players and serve as a nice building block for others such as the movie industry looking to find similar success. Whilst it may take some time for a major shift to happen in the movie industry, 2021 will certainly provide a nice proving ground to show that the change can be successful – the only drawback may be that a growing number of streaming services will once again lead others to cancel ones they don’t enjoy as much, but that’s a problem further down the line.

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