The state of streaming platforms in 2022: the decline of Netflix, the future of HBO Max and much more

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It’s time to take a look at this crazy year in the world of entertainment, in which the newly formed conglomerate Warner Bros. Discovery has canceled Batgirl, Netflix has lost nearly a million subscribers, and two epic fantasy series with huge budgets have been released. emit at the same time.

It’s fun and confusing to be a consumer of popular culture in 2022, but, What does all this mean for the future of the industry? Will these shakeups in the streaming landscape put a damper on your entertainment consumption? Read on to find out where each of the major streaming platforms currently ranks.

Is Netflix’s reign as king of streaming over?

*Subscriber numbers rounded to whole numbers
*Subscriber figures have been rounded to whole numbers

Based on the number of subscribers shown in the chart above, Netflix continues to win the streaming war. However, the streaming giant’s 220.67 million users don’t tell the whole story, especially with its loss of close to a million subscribers in the second quarter of this year. By comparison, Disney+ gained 7.9 million subscribers in the first three months of 2022 to close the gap with its 152.1 million users. So has Netflix’s heyday really come to an end? We spoke to CNBC tech reporter Alex Sherman to find out more.

In reality, Netflix may be nearing a growth ceiling, or it may have already peaked.

Netflix investors have given up on that idea that the more money Netflix spends, the more global subscribers will come, because we’re not seeing it anymore.Sherman explains.Netflix can blame the lack of great content on the pandemic shutdowns, but I don’t think investors believe that’s the whole story. I think what they think is that Netflix used to say that there could be up to 800 million total addressable markets for global streaming subscribers. I think the general thinking is that number is probably much less. And if that number is much lower, then Netflix may be nearing a growth ceiling here, or maybe they’ve already peaked.“.

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Sherman’s mention of “ceiling” and “peak” is key to better understand what’s happening on Netflix and what could also end up happening with Disney + and HBO Max. FX chief John Landgraf, famous for his State of Television lectures during the Television Critics Association press tour, echoed Sherman’s sentiments.

2022 will be the high point, that is, it will mark the high point of the ‘Peak TV’ eraLandgraf said. Although not referring to a specific streaming service, Landgraf highlights the fact that in 2021 there were 559 original scripted series (an increase of 5% compared to 2020), and that in 2022 there will be even more series It’s important (and obvious) to note that neither Landgraf nor I can see the future, however, it seems that massive exponential growth in the streaming market, such as Netflix’s impressive jump of 10 million subscribers in early 2020 It has probably come to an end. There’s just too much TV for everyone to watch…or is there?

Warner Bros. Discovery y HBO Max

Following the uproar surrounding Warner Bros. Discovery canceling its upcoming Batgirl movie, reports began to circulate that the studio was eyeing producer Dan Lin (The Lego Movie, Godzilla: King of the Monsters) to be the company’s new DC chief. Although taking the reins of the DC Universe with a legion of superheroes at his disposal, including Batman and Superman, may seem tempting. Even with a lucrative deal on the table, some jobs just aren’t worth it.

I think they were going to pay him pretty well.CNBC’s Alex Sherman tells IGN.But in Dan’s case, he had an entire independent studio that he owned and ran. So, I think in his mind, this opportunity had to be so good on all levels for him to give up something that he already liked a lot. That’s very different from an executive who was, let’s say, fired or laid off, and he’s a free agent looking for a new job. That person would probably accept the offer much quicker than someone who is already entrenched doing their thing.“.

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As Warner Bros. Discovery’s search begins anew for its Feige equivalent, and with the future of the DC Universe up in the air without a steady hand to guide the ship, it’s reassuring to know that HBO, and its streaming platform HBO Max, is in good hands.

While not as provocative as the Batgirl news, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav has also re-signed current HBO Chief Creative Officer Casey Bloys to a new five-year deal with HBO and HBO Max. If the name Bloys doesn’t ring a bell, you can (probably) rest assured that the Emmy giant’s quality isn’t going to wane anytime soon. Since he became HBO’s head of programming in 2016, Bloys has overseen development on Game of Thrones, True Detective, Succession and House of the Dragon.

Will there be more multi-million dollar series like The Rings of Power?

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With the premiere of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on Amazon Prime Video, we can now stream the most expensive television series in history. It’s amazing and also very entertaining. But does spending $750 million to $1 billion for a season of TV improve your chances of winning the streaming war? And for how long will the massive spending continue? Although Netflix’s The Crown may seem slim compared to the budgets of Disney+ and HBO Max in the chart above, Netflix Still Plans To Spend An Impressive $17 Billion A Year in contents.

I think the answer will depend on what we see in terms of subscriber growth next year.“explains Alex Sherman, in relation to money spent versus subscriber growth. “If HBO Max gets a sizable raise from House of the Dragon, that will pay for House of the Dragon. And what I think we’ll see is that same rush will continue for franchises that cost a lot of money and can be made into movies and TV shows. Where the cost savings will be seen is in the middle class. A lot of those B-tier TV shows and movies won’t stand a chance, but I still think there’s going to be an arms race between HBO, Apple, Amazon, and Netflix for A-tier shows and above, because they can attract a huge audience. of subscribers“.

It’s important to remember that studios like Warner Bros. Discovery, Peacock and Netflix are more dependent on the success of their respective platforms than Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video. These last two streamers have an endless amount of income to fall back on if the Streaming Wars don’t work out for them. For example, Apple is the most valuable company in the world, with 2.4 billion dollars, and Amazon is a few places lower, with 1.15 billion. When one is worth billions of dollars, what’s wrong with spending $1 billion for a single season of television? But Amazon and Apple aren’t stupid (we think), and they’ll probably avoid throwing money away for no reason.

What happens in the future with streaming platforms, we do not know, but we are living an impressive and probably unique moment in the history of television, it is a reality. What is your favorite platform this year, at the moment?