Hollywood is in trouble. Both the little and large screens are experiencing stormy seas right now, and the challenges afflicting cinema and television in the United States have only been compounded by the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. Netflix executives poured money at literally every pitch they heard for years, or so it appeared based on the quality of many Netflix Originals. However, early this year, it was announced that the world leader in streaming has lost subscribers for the first time in ten years.
So, what happened to Netflix?
Previously, Netflix was regarded to be a saviour of many a cancelled network TV show, but now it must assess its own content and the reasons why its members are leaving. Hundreds of employees have been laid off. It is considering, among other things, adopting cheaper, ad-supported plans and not allowing customers to share their subscriptions with friends and relatives.
Is content overload another cause of burnout?
Many people have complained about having too much stuff to see. Every year, hundreds of new series are released on dozens of streaming platforms, while hundreds of existing shows receive new seasons. Many of them are excellent, but choosing what to watch is challenging. As strong entertainment on the large screen that does not rely on franchise strength has become more scarce, there are hundreds of hours of programming on the tiny screen. This brings us back to the profligacy demonstrated by firms like Netflix, which is now coming back to hit them in the rear. How would it fund its substantard shows if it couldn’t do it with money from subscribers? It was only inevitable.
Budget cuts, salary cuts, and too much genre cinema;
According to Bloomberg, a TV director who earned $4 million a year is no longer paid $750,000, and TV budgets have been cut by an unbelievable 30%. Also, with the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s and superhero films in general’s hegemony over the previous decade or two, the theatre economy was already struggling. Small-budget films by lesser-known directors, funded by major studios, underwent a revival in the 1990s and 2000s, but are now as scarce as latinum. Now, companies are creating either $200 million franchise films or absurdly low-budget films since they won’t lose much money.
The pandemic effect
After that sinister virus wreaked havoc on the whole planet, the theatre industry suffered even more. Almost every successful film in the previous two years has been either a superhero film or a sequel to a legacy property. Studios say, ‘If we’re going to waste a lot of money, let it burn on a movie that people will really see!’