Why Are Streaming Platforms Removing Films and TV Shows? Where To Find Them Now?
Films and TV shows are disappearing from streaming platforms are they prune their content to cut costs. Warner Bros. Discovery did it as part of the planned tax write-offs tied to the merger, CNBC reported.
Disney is also set to let go of dozens of shows and films from Disney+ and Hulu, including shows like, "The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers,” "Willow," and "The Mysterious Benedict Society."
What Is Going On?
The content streaming industry has cooled after its boom during the pandemic. People are getting back to their old routines. As a result, Wall Street has started putting pressure on media companies asking them to focus on different strategies to generate profit. The change came after Netflix last year reported its first subscribers loss in more than a decade.
"Our revenue growth has slowed considerably as our results and forecast below show. Streaming is winning over linear, as we predicted, and Netflix titles are very popular globally. However, our relatively high household penetration - when including the large number of households sharing accounts - combined with competition, is creating revenue growth headwinds," it had said.
“What is hitting their income statements is the amortization of content that’s already been made and released,” said Michael Nathanson, an analyst at SVB MoffettNathanson.
Dan Rayburn, media analyst, explained that the companies have had to change the way they’re spending on content because Wall Street says you’ve got to get to profitability much faster. He also talked about how Disney’s stock nosedived in November after the company revealed that its direct-to-consumer unit, which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, reportedly lost nearly $1.5 billion in one quarter.
But why content made specifically for streaming platforms has been removed, especially when the original content remains untouched?
“From a consumer standpoint, what they want is they want to be able to always have access to their content,” said Rayburn added.
The fact that some of the content is not owned by the streamer and a licensing fee must be paid to the studio that owns the content is also contributing to the elimination of so many shows and movies. For example, NBCUniversal had to pay $500 million to be able to stream The Office on Peacock and Warner Bros had to pay $425 million to be able to stream WBTV-produced “Friends.”
So by cutting the content made for streaming rather than licensed TV shows and movies, the streamers started saving immediately. Casey Bloys, CEO of HBO and HBO Max, said in an episode of The Watch, "The idea that everything a company produces will be in one spot forever and ever, for $15 a month, for eternity, is a relatively new concept. $15 a month is going to cover everything for the rest of time? It’s a nice idea, but it’s not viable."
Where Do I Find My Favourite Show?
While shows are being removed from the streamers there are still various ways in which hardcore fans can watch their favorite movies and shows. Both Apple and Amazon Prime are offering the option to buy movies and shows that lets users keep in their accounts forever. As of now, shows like HBO's "Westworld" and The Nevers can be purchased on both the platforms as they have already gotten removed from HBO Max which is just Max now, as per Forbes.
Another free service called JustWatch allows you to find out what platform the shows are on and where it's available to rent or buy. Another such platform is Reelgood that will help you track your favourite shows across platforms. Lastly, there's Yidio that lets you watch shows and movies including free ad-supported content.
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