Historians say that the Lágidas, in addition to forming a dynasty incestuous, they used debatable means, aggressive techniques Y abundant funds to obtain the texts that would end up making Alexandria, with its library, the commercial and intellectual epicenter of antiquity. When in the future we look at audiovisual culture from the 20th century, the platforms they will be the new Ptolemies.
In the fight for the domination of popular culture, the battles in the raging ‘streaming wars’ they continue to intensify. They create many doubts and concerns about the devaluation of movies and television as mere ‘content’, a fear that he described with his authoritative voice Martin Scorsese in a rehearsal at ‘Harper’s’ a few months ago.
They also trigger the alert about the void and the creative bankruptcy of the obsession with “intellectual property”, with libraries of “classics” from decades ago and recent ones ready to be exploited unlimitedly in a world of sequels and franchises (20% of the current content of the platforms according to some data) and treated as bait or filler to satisfy the appetite of viewers seen as a consumer of any product.
Some, like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, also warn that the same is being replicated monopoly model in production and distribution that applied the classic Hollywood to which in 1948 the Supreme Court of the United States ended, opening the doors to independent studios and cinemas and more creativity in general.
At the moment, in any case, the platforms are practically putting all the audiovisual legacy at a distance with just one click (and the disbursement of subscription price, subscriptions actually). They have already distributed almost the entire cake, distributing it on separate plates shown in the graph that accompanies these lines. And they do business. Global.
Amazon breaks down the last barrier
After years of speculation that one of the great technological titans (Amazon, Apple, Facebook or Google) would buy a studio, the behemoth founded by Jeff bezos broke the last remaining barrier in Hollywood a few days ago. At the stroke of a checkbook he announced the acquisition (pending regulatory approval) of Metro Goldwyn Mayer, its catalog of 4,000 movies and 17,000 television shows, as well as the experience of a nearly 100-year-old studio, one of Hollywood’s original ‘big five’.
The price Amazon has paid is widely seen as an overvaluation of MGM but those 6.9 billion euros, little more than the benefits that Amazon obtained only in the first quarter of this year, represent a movement that would be practically undetectable if the income statement were measured on the Richter scale. Because it is small change for a company with a market value of € 1.3 trillion and 60,000 million of liquidity.
That outlay does not even reach the 9,000 million euros that Amazon sells spent developing and acquiring content last year, when 175 of his 200 million Prime subscribers they watched movies and television online. It is also below what the two dominant names in the world of streaming invested in the year of the pandemic. Because to satisfy and keep your 208 million customers in 190 countries, Netflix it spent 9,800 million and this year it calculates that it will reach 14,000. Disney + (104 million users) invested 7.4 billion, a figure that it estimates to practically double by 2024.
The purchase of MGM by Amazon came just a few days after the merger operation was announced that, in exchange for 35,000 million for AT&T (an American telecommunications giant that throws in the towel in an audiovisual adventure in which it had immersed itself ago). only five years), gives rise to WarnerBros Discovery, another behemoth.
It’s a historical and also logical step in the evolution of ‘streaming’, which with Netflix as a transformative irruption began offering contents of others and then he flipped on the creation of originalsespecially after they had woken up the studios, who came into play with their own services and claimed their titles.
Some, like Disney, had been carrying out operations for almost two decades that, added to a long history of their own, have immediately made Disney + a titan: from the purchases of Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilms to that of 21th Century Fox. Others may exploit their deep catalogs (and the recognition of their ‘brands’), such as Paramount + and Peacock (the platform of NBC and Universal). At stake are also HBO Max (With 64 million subscribers already worldwide and ready for global expansion into 60 territories, including launch this month in Latin America). And the house founded by Steve Jobs joined with the launch of Apple TV +, which has some 40 million users in more than 100 countries.
Now, according to experts, aggregation and consolidation trends they don’t seem to be backing down. Specialized analysts assure that “ small studies will be acquired or they will start to do agreements with platforms”, A prediction made in ‘Wired’ by Sarah Henschel, from Omdia, and which also extends to the last great that remains without its own platform, Sony, which has just signed a distribution agreement for its movies with Netflix.
The fight is for get clients, for retain them, and for creating a brand signal that helps overcome challenges such as the one that beats in a study carried out by Kantar Profiles and Facebook and which recently cited ‘Variety’: for the 57% of users of streaming is “hard to remember what content is available on which platform”. And in that battle, names like Bond, which with many limitations enters the Amazon catalog, are one of the magnets to guarantee that fidelity. “Iconic characters They are not born overnight and it can take decades to cement their popular imagination ”, it was read in ‘Wired’. “As audiences become more and more fragmented, it’s easier to buy them than to create them.”
What the platforms are experiencing is also a saturation of the US market and Erik Barmack, a former Netflix executive, recently predicted in ‘The Wall Street Journal’ that “over time the Most of your consumers will be outside the US”. Therefore, and now that the global number of subscriptions exceeds 1,100 million (almost triple that in 2016) the figures of increasing investment in local content production.
Almost half of what Netflix is producing, for example, it is rolled outside the US and 38% is not in English. And to Disney, which in March had 97% US production, the percentage of international projects is going to shoot the 24%. It has five tens going.