Film streaming industry will continue to thrive | Films4U
Why the film streaming industry will continue to thrive
Cinemas may be empty, but it’s likely that the film industry as a whole will still grow, despite the unforgiving economic conditions created by the coronavirus. Our fascination with movies and TV has far from waned since restrictions were imposed back in March. instead, droves of people flocked to their sofas to binge-watch box sets and movies on their preferred film streaming platform.
If you’re a film investor, you’ll be keen to review the stats that back us this claim.
Is film streaming really growing?
Here are some figures that back up the growth of film streaming services:
- Film streaming is estimated to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20.4% from 2020 to 2027
- Film Streaming services have increased viewership by 10% since COVID-19, with some providers like Netflix seeing a much sharper increase.
- The market is currently worth USD$50.1 billion, with this increasing to an estimated USD$184.2 billion by 2027
This seismic shift has been partly driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Root causes aside, internet-based film services are transforming how we consume movies and changing the industry landscape (perhaps forever).
Why would we want to give up this extremely convenient way of watching movies, which is highly affordable and includes a range of Hollywood movies? True, you don’t get the widescreen experience or the rumbling sound effects, but it’s a pretty good alternative.
Coronavirus’ impact on the film industry
Has the coronavirus adversely impacted the movie industry? Prolonged lockdowns, loosening of restrictions and subsequent lockdowns have led to cinemas opening and closing multiple times. This has created a sense of instability in the sector, which has put off many potential cinema-goers.
But, cinema isn’t the only way you can see films. Film streaming services are cheaper than theatre-tickets, arguably more hassle-free, and you can control what you watch and when to suit your lifestyle set-up and requirements. There’s no limit when watching online, either. You can stream your favourite movie or series as often as you like.
Perhaps more importantly, you won’t have to worry about hand sanitiser, wearing a mask or keeping 2m away from other people.
Has COVID-19 created this trend? Lockdown led to us spending more time at home. But it could be argued that we had no choice in the matter.
As will become clear soon, the trend toward using film streaming service predates the advent of coronavirus. This means that coronavirus alone might have accelerated the use of film streaming services – but this change had been manifesting for some time already.
Rise in film streaming in the UK
The increased use of film streaming services in the UK was evident in 2019, long before government restrictions were imposed due to the coronavirus. British people spent a record amount of money (£3 billion) on well-known film streaming platforms like Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon in 2019 alone.
More generally, the entertainment market – which also encompasses the video game industry – experienced great growth last year. What does this mean for film streaming services in the UK? It shows how we’re gravitating toward internet-based services instead of going out to watch films or to buy physical products.
Are we talking about seismic change here?
This could arguably be called a revolution, which at the same time could threaten high street retailers who sell products like CDs, DVDs, and games. Digital entertainment is now a big deal and, coupled with the growth of the e-commerce sector, suggests an eventual move toward home-based entertainment.
Does this mean the death of the cinema? Film streaming may eventually become the norm, with theatres taking a smaller proportion of the market share, but right now, it’s impossible to tell. If this trend signals anything, it’s that even COVID-19 won’t stop us from watching our favourite series and movies.
How Coronavirus has changed streaming habits
It’s impossible to ignore how lockdown measures have helped fuel a surge in film streaming services, a fact supported by Ofcom: the industry regulator. Ofcom believes that adults have been spending an average of 40% of their time in front of a screen of some description.
The report goes on to assert that, during the peak lockdown period, this surged to people spending 6 hours and 25 minutes in front of a screen every day. This indicates an increase of 31% over the same time last year.
Little room for debate
This makes things clearer. We’re witnessing change here on a global level; change that shows a growing (and perhaps intractable) tendency toward digital home entertainment. Game-changer? Quite probably.
The success of straight-to-streaming films
Netflix is protective of its data. So people were surprised when the streaming giant broke cover to tell the world about its film streaming success Birdbox: a post-apocalyptic horror/thriller, in a similar vein to box-office success A Quiet Place.
According to Netflix, Birdbox was streamed by 45m accounts, which represents almost a third of its subscriber list. If this doesn’t clearly signal the trend toward streaming films, we’re not sure what does. Comparatively, during the same period, Michael Bay’s Bumblebee (a prequel to the highly successful Transformers series) topped the UK box office, clearly showing how loved the cinema still is. So, although straight-to streaming films are experiencing unprecedented success, it’s unlikely that they will eclipse the cinema completely.
Investing in film streaming services
Despite the pandemic, film streaming is growing in popularity. As identified, its star is projected to remain in ascent until at least 2027. What will happen then is unclear. Experts are divided over whether current usage levels will increase, level off, or dip.
It would seem that, despite harsh economic conditions, we have located new ways to carry on watching series and movies. Being able to escape our current reality and distract ourselves from job insecurity or the possibility of getting sick is vital, now more than ever.
But haven’t we always sought such distraction? Before, during and after the pandemic, our love of films and storytelling will prevail.
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