The more things change, the more things – oh hell’s bells! – change!
by Alice Williams
With 86 million users across multiple countries and roughly $2.2 billion in generated revenue in Q3 2016, Netflix is the shining star of media-streaming startups. But it wasn’t always such a powerhouse.
In the early days of Netflix, video rental companies like Blockbuster were the established opposition. Old media and distribution channels kept a watchful eye on the media-streaming newcomer, but felt no reason to be concerned.
That changed in 2002, when — just five years after it was founded — Netflix went public. It has been a hit ever since. Blockbuster, on the other hand, was absorbed by DISH in 2011 after filing for bankruptcy, leaving just a handful of franchise stores operating throughout the United States.
Times have changed, but ongoing public demand for innovative new access to entertainment hasn’t. Internet access and social networks have given consumers more options. Consumers, in turn, have started to play a bigger role in shaping the market. But now that we’re at a point where the entertainment and media (E&M) market is saturated with streaming offerings, the next logical questions to ask are: Where do we go from here? Is there still a place for media-streaming startups?
The short answer is… yes. The E&M industry is going through a lot of flux, and traditional pay-TV subscriptions are falling — one noted that only 56 percent of viewers are maintaining TV subscriptions. In comparison, 23 percent are scaling back pay-TV packages, 16 percent have unsubscribed and 5 percent have never had a pay-TV subscription at all. Just two years ago, more than 90 percent of American consumers said they expected to renew their cable packages for another year, but that number fell to 79 percent in 2015….