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Broken Windows How Streaming Is Redefining the Movie Proposition

Report by Tim Mulligan
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The 20,000 Foot View:             significantly reduced theatrical movie releases and has necessitated a shift to streaming premiers for studios, especially those with recently launched direct-to-consumer services. While Disney has stated that it will return to theatrical releases in May            rival Warner Media has boldly decided to jump feet-first into combined same-day theatrical and streaming releases for its 2021 movie slate. Consumer sentiment against returning to theatres post-COVID has now combined with the newfound familiarity of first-window home streaming access. This means a permanent breach in the theatrical window. The increasingly impactful ROI on feature films versus episodic scripted dramas for video on demand coincides with a consumer decline in binge viewing, and will elevate the value of an exclusive movie slate for direct-to-consumer video services and consumers alike. The golden age of TV content which has been the engine of SVOD is now tipping back towards the shorter-form gold standard of the feature film, benefiting video services with a pedigree of delivering content at this level.

Key Insights

  • The            pandemic            made audiences retreat to home-based                      of consumers plan to            less time going to the            post lockdown
  • SVOD users            for future cinema-going reticence, with            Disney+ weekly active users less            return to theatres
  • However, SVOD            also over-index for future cinema-going            too:            of Disney+ WAUs are            likely return to theatres, compared                       consumer average 
  • Paid film            are niche, making up only            all consumers
  • Paid film            are both digitally savvy and            conservative, making premium video on            a potential streaming subscription inhibitor
  • Paid film            over-index for SVOD weekly active           
  • English-speaking markets            for paid film downloader penetration,            nearly two thirds aged           
  • The year-on-year            decline in binge viewing from                       underlines the importance of offering            single-viewing long-form content for retention
  • Movie studio            IP will enable HBO Max            Disney+ to become prime beneficiaries            fandom leveraging for driving service            in a contested marketplace
  • The streaming            movie premiers will enable media            direct-to-consumer services to offset the            content slate and bigger budgets            market-leader Netflix

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Amazon, Amazon Prime Video, Comcast, Disney, Disney+, HBO Max, Netflix, Paramount, Paramount+, Peacock, Warner Bros., Warner Media