Netflix Has Conquered TV and is now Moving into the Movie Theater
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With award considerations being tied heavily to theatrical releases, Netflix is looking to garner more recognition for it's original content.
As we all know, Netflix has been dominating TV, particularly within the past 10 years. Netflix viewership keeps going up, and movie theater ticket sales were relatively unchanging during this time.
Netflix is certainly a more affordable option, with the cost of a one month subscription with access to over 9,500 movies equaling about the same as one evening at the movie theater watching one movie on the big screen. And consumers seem not to care about the size of the screen really, as Netflix users often watch content on small screens like phones and tablets.
However, this past year was a triumphant one for cinema. After years of stagnant attendance, 2018 saw a record $11.8 billion spike in movie theater ticket sales in the USA and Canada (think Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Incredibles 2, etc).
And yet, Netflix is still doing really good too. The streaming giant and content producer reported that more than 45 million people watched “Bird Box” the week it was released in mid-December. This means that this new Netflix original film had the largest viewership within a seven day period of any Netflix original. (In these metrics, Netflix counts/defines a view as someone watching over 70% of the total content, which includes credits.)
Critics point out that watching something on Netflix is not the same as going to the movies and buying a movie theater ticket--the level of commitment from the consumer and the metrics are completely different.
Interestingly enough, back in November, Netflix publicized that it would start sharing exclusive rights to some original films before they are released online with movie theaters, as well as release some films both online and in theaters at the same time.
So it looks like Netflix is really becoming about customization and convenience, watching content your way, whatever that may be. When Netflix releases something on their site, it reaches many more consumers than other methods could and costs less money to make that reach happen. This allows Netflix to put a lot of money towards making lots of content and not need to worry about finding someone to pay to watch it, as it extends to so many people.
Some believe that Netflix needs Hollywood to back it up to be as successful as possible and this is why they are joining in on theatrical releases. Theater releases are essential for award consideration and making the talent happy, so it makes sense that Netflix wants to play nice and maybe get some academy recognition for their original content, which do tend to be really good and get lots of views (ie. BirdBox).
To learn more about Netflix potentially taking over cinema, check out this article here!