Will Netflix Revolutionize the TV Industry… & Take a Bite Out of Theater Attendance?

Up until 2018, theater box office admissions had been rather flat.

There were those who wondered if movie streaming companies such as Netflix were taking a bite out of theater profits. Just like Netflix has been doing recently to television.

But 2018 was a great year for movies and theaters. Among the box office hits last year were Black Panther from Marvel Studios, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom from Universal Pictures and Deadpool 2 from 20th Century Fox.

Those films and others helped drive movie theater ticket sales up 6 percent over 2017 in the United States and Canada. All the way to a record-breaking $11.8 billion.

Bird Box Lifts Netflix

Despite the movie industry’s success in 2018, Netflix is making some indisputable inroads. They certainly made a splash last month.

That’s when approximately 45 million people tuned in to watch Bird Box. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a thrilling, post-apocalyptic survival movie starring Sandra Bullock.

The film is based on the 2014 debut novel of writer and singer Josh Malerman. A woman tries to guide two children to safety in the face of a deadly but unseen force.

Bird Box helped Netflix attain its highest ever seven-day viewership of any original film.

Does Screen Size Matter?

Netflix has about 130 million accounts worldwide. That’s despite having used very little funding to boost themselves.

Rich Greenfield is a media analyst and managing partner at the firm BTIG. Here’s what he said.

“Netflix has clearly taken over TV in the last 10 years. It does not seem crazy to believe that they can do the same to the movie business as they accelerate film production.

“People honestly don’t care about screen size – they simply want to be entertained at a compelling rate and value.”

Netflix Focuses on Home Delivery

Theater owners disagree, of course. Patrick Corcoran is a vice president and chief communications officer of the National Association of Theater Owners.

He said, “Netflix’s model can’t disrupt theatrical if it’s not playing on 99.7 percent of screens.”

Netflix has become very popular in recent years. But why? It actually has a very small percentage of all the movies that are out there. But it knows something very important – how to reach people in their homes.

The experts are predicting that Netflix will eventually distribute even more entertainment to homes. They will probably make most of the movies they send.

And they’ll deliver a lot of entertainment from overseas that most people would probably not be able to see otherwise.

Video Is Streaming Ahead

Basically, Netflix “gets it.” They understand that video streaming is the wave of the future. In fact, it’s already here. And they are capitalizing on it.

Of course, so is YouTube. They are the leading video sharing service.

YouTube says that 300 hours of video content is uploaded every minute. And they are closing in on 5 billion video views per day.

Others bringing video directly to people’s homes include Hulu and social media outlets such as Facebook.

Why All the Growth?

Why is the video streaming industry growing so quickly? There are several reasons, according to Medium.com.

  • There’s more access to the Internet than before. About 16 million people had access to the Internet in 1995. Twenty years later, it was up to 3.3 billion. In addition, Internet speeds are increasing, which makes video more appealing.
  • People prefer video content over text. Reports from the past few years show that 55 percent of people watch videos online every day. Facebook serves more than 8 billion video views per day.
  • There are more options at lower rates. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat didn’t exist 15 years ago. Not to mention Netflix and Hulu. Today you can use many of them for free.
  • Business usage. Video in the workplace is contributing to this. The enterprise video market is expected to grow from an estimated $16.34 billion in 2017 to $40.84 in 2022.

Smartphones Playing a Big Part

Another reason video streaming is becoming more popular is the ever growing usage of smartphones.

Seems like just about everyone has one these days. Many people use them more for streaming video than they do for making phone calls and texting.

Aiding in this revolution are the increasingly sharp displays that smartphones are providing.

As difficult as it may be to believe for older Americans, you can actually enjoy a movie on your phone these days. Incredible.

It’s safe to say that more and more people will be watching videos and movies in the future. On their computers, smartphones and TVs.

How that will affect the movie and TV industries remains to be seen.

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