The Netflix Reign
(1.5 minute read)
Streaming services are killing it with original content. This was reflected on Sunday at The Emmys when 32 awards went out to shows created by streaming platforms. Last year, we reported that Netflix was king with 83 million subscribers worldwide and growing, while cable numbers were rapidly decreasing. Netflix shouldn’t get too comfortable wearing the crown, however, as more players have stepped into the streaming arena, serving up some hefty competition.
Hulu stuck a flag in the ground at the Emmys with 10 wins, including Outstanding Drama Series for The Handmaid’s Tale. This was the first ever win for a streaming service in that category. Hulu is a joint venture between Disney, 21st Century Fox, Time Warner, and Comcast, which allows it to stream content from the major TV networks to subscribers who don’t want a cable contract. This has been a key differentiation from Netflix and other platforms.
Amazon nabbed 16 nominations and took home 2 wins at the Television Academy on Sunday. Amazon Prime offers original content, such as Transparent and The Man In The High Castle, as well as an unlimited library of TV and movies that can be purchased through your account. Other paid channels such as HBO or Showtime can also be accessed through Prime.
In 2017, Netflix still has the upper hand with 100 million subscribers and a planned $6 billion budget for original content. Compare this with Amazon Prime’s 80 million Prime members and $4.5 billion budget for content creation and Hulu’s 12 million U.S. subscribers and $2.5 billion spend on original shows. Surely a bigger audience & budget is enough to keep Netflix ahead?
Not so fast—Disney also has plans for it’s own platform, and will be removing most of their library of content (including Pixar, ESPN, Marvel, and Star Wars) from Netflix in 2019. This will be a huge blow to both the content available on the platform and the amount of subscribers who may choose the Disney streaming service instead. In addition, Facebook and Apple (both with deep pockets) have plans to jump into television content creation as well.
It’s clear that the way people are consuming TV has changed. The question now is which streaming service will come out on top through innovation? How will each platform differentiate themselves as better, different, or special? Stay tuned.