Viewers benefited from the “Streaming Wars” but now pay more

In recent years, major video services have been fighting for viewers in the streaming wars. This has given them front row seats to many new movies and TV series, as well as affordable subscriptions. But now that era seems to be over.

Netflix, for example, has made sharing subscriptions more difficult. Streaming giants have also introduced cheaper subscriptions that include advertising. Imaging also becomes more expensive. For example, Disney+, Apple TV+, Prime Video, Videoland and Viaplay are increasing the prices of various subscriptions.

Netflix has also become more expensive in other European countries this year, but it says it is not planning a price increase yet in the Netherlands. There is no information yet about the price of HBO, which will merge with Discovery + to form HBO Max next year.

Jan-Piet Nelissen, partner and media expert at Deloitte consultancy firm, states that the era when video platforms wanted to quickly create a large customer base at low prices is over. “They realized that you can no longer create a profitable revenue model with these amounts,” he says.

Last year, many video providers backed away from crazy growth plans due to huge losses. Scandinavian Viaplay withdrew from many countries and in the remaining countries, including the Netherlands, Viaplay increased prices. National productions planned in the Netherlands were also canceled.

“We’re coming from an era where platforms spent billions of dollars on large-scale productions, and that’s over,” says film journalist Nico van den Berg. “The focus now is on making more money.”

A few years ago it was very tempting to borrow money cheaply or even for free. This is over. “This means that supply will decrease,” Van den Berg expects. “The consequences of the Hollywood strike also cost money. “Trees no longer grow towards the sky.”

This, he hopes, means there will be greater reliance on proven successes. Van den Berg doesn’t see many new streaks of success from the biggest names. For example, HBO, which has relied on Game of Thrones for years, does not have a new production that stands out in its eyes. The same goes for Disney+.

Dutch productions

Dutch film and TV producers are still benefiting from the streaming wars. When Netflix launched in the Netherlands ten years ago, they were hoping for more investment, and this scenario has come true. While the production volume of domestic films and TV series was 107.5 million euros in 2012, this figure more than doubled last year and reached 219.4 million euros, according to film financing figures.

Final figures for film financing for 2023 are not available, but it is expected to increase further this year.

Netflix is ​​still the most popular in the Netherlands:

As of January 1, a new investment requirement will appear for major streaming platforms in the Netherlands. Netflix says “original stories from your own country and language” are important in all the countries it operates in. “In recent years we have invested more in local content and local creative talent. “This will increase even more in the Netherlands in the coming years.”

Canal+ says it does not yet offer Dutch productions, but plans to do so in the coming years.

Sports are expensive

For a long time, it was believed that sports would determine the outcome of the fight in favor of viewers on broadcast platforms. For example, two years ago, Amazon acquired the broadcasting rights of the Bundesliga in Germany and Viaplay entered Formula 1. However, since this year, Viaplay has been experiencing major financial difficulties and has therefore withdrawn from many countries.

Disney now offers combo subscriptions in the US with its subsidiary, ESPN, which holds broadcast rights to the Dutch Premier League this year. The new HBO Max will also offer sports via Eurosport.

Nelissen emphasizes that investing in sports is very expensive. “Unlike movies and TV series, licensing costs are still rising. Additionally, this license is granted temporarily. You own a movie or TV series, but after a few years you lose the sports rights. Don’t forget production costs. One time.” “You have a license, but you still have to go out there with cameras, crew and moderators.”

Netflix responded by offering sports documentaries and hosting its own tennis tournament in Las Vegas next year. Rafael Nadal met Carlos Alcaraz at the Netflix Slam.

Source: NOS