The streaming wars have ended and there was an unexpected casualty

Way way way back last year I wrote this entry on this blog:

Remember the Streaming Wars

It was back when in the myopic view of us vs them approach to storytelling, everyone was predicting that Disney+ would result in Netflix going out of business. Clearly, that didn’t happen. If anything market share for both has gone through the roof. In fact during the pandemic, another streaming powerhouse set up shop. HBOMax became the go to streaming service of the pandemic.

So who paid the cost of this new media industry? Surprise surprise, it was the movie companies themselves. Check out this article by Indiewire. Heralding the end of the studio system as we know it:

This Was the Week That Movie Studios Finally Lost Control of the Industry

Today’s entertainment is gobbled up by franchise and brands. Superstar marquee projects are a thing of the past. When Lucasfilm and Marvel are the names drawing people to content, it opens up the doors to media flexibility. So what does this mean?

Movie theatres are dead. The mega multiplexes are a thing of the past. In the modern era, where entire cinematic universes and personalised film festivals are possible, what is the appeal of waiting in a line for an hour to get awkward seating next to someone who is going to text on their phone for most of the film?

The pandemic as it has with everything else, has only sped this up. As we all binged and streamed indoors because we have nothing else to do, how many of us missed the cinema really? We still talked about the latest film released. We aren’t returning to the multiplex post COVID-19. That is a certainty now.

So where do we go from here? Streaming services are only going to get more powerful and prominent as our go to source for media consumption. Here in Canada, our federal government is attempting to reign in their power by forcing these services to fit into the old system through Bill C-10. It’s a flawed and terrible piece of legislation, which ultimately misses the mark.

The opportunities for Canadian content to go global is unprecedented. Streaming services hungry for new and compelling content are eager to showcase anything from anywhere. This is Canada’s time to shine. If government is truly interested in preserving and encouraging Canadian cultural programming, then it needs to find away to disseminate and fund original content. If they can’t seem the future for what it is, then Canadian content is destined to fail.


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