Playing with fire! This is what it sounds like from the side of the cinema operators, since yesterday the traditional Warner Bros. studio in Hollywood publicly declared that starting next year, all of its new feature films from 2021 onwards will be offered online on HBO Max in principle parallel to the cinema.
Los Angeles, December 4, 2020
The success of streaming services has been putting the traditional cinema business under great pressure for some time now. With the Corvette 19 pandemic, an unpredictable factor has come into play since this spring, tragically accelerating the decline of cinema.
Starting 2021: Warner Bros will Stream New Feature Films
Warner Bros, the Hollywood studio behind upcoming blockbusters such as Wonder Woman 1984, Matrix 4, Dune and The Suicide Squad, decided this week to make new feature films available to the public on their own online channels at the same time as they are released.
Streaming services are counted as all media services that are made available to customers online and do not use traditional cable, broadcast or satellite TV networks. The most important segment in the online TV market is "Subscription-Based Video On Demand" (SVOD), offered by companies such as Netflix, Disney+ or Amazon Prime Video and HBO Max.
The studio is thus taking another step forward to where the audience is. This involves nothing less than 17 million films and Warner’s total annual output for the coming year 2021.
However, this development is not entirely surprising: as early as October 2018, Warner Bros. announced that it would establish its own streaming channel under the label HBO Max. Since the end of May 2020, the channel is also accessible in Germany.
Sources say that the announcement to publish feature films immediately in streaming services is causing almost panic among many cinema operators. Because behind Warner Bros’ move, which was previously unimaginable in the entertainment business, there is an even greater fear. Namely the anxious question of how other Hollywood studios will react to this decision.
If major players such as Universal or Disney join this business model, the survival of cinemas in the form in which they were known until 2019 is in jeopardy.
Cinema operators are not talking about playing with fire just because their own business model is threatening to go to the dogs. But also because Warner Bros wants to deliver the newly released feature films to HBO Max subscribers in their own living rooms at no extra charge. Insiders estimate that the total production costs for the films to be knitted in this way in 2021 will be around 2 billion USD. The fact that this enormous sum can be refinanced with an increase in subscribers, according to the cinemas, is an illusion that will ultimately lead to irreparable damage to the art of film as a whole.
Source: Business Press, digitaltvresearch.com
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