Are Streaming Services Taking Over the Film Industry?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s movie-going experiences looked a lot different than usual. Ten dollar popcorn buckets were traded in for homemade microwave popcorn, the classic red velvet seats became our own couches, and that dangerous feeling of racing through the dark to find a bathroom before missing any good parts of the movie was simply replaced with a pause button. 

Streaming movies and television shows on services such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more has become the new normal in the lives of many Perkiomen Valley High School students. In a poll taken of fifty-five students, every one of them said they own at least one streaming service they use to watch content. But,the increasing popularity of these apps mixed with the pandemic shutdown of movie theaters and filming sets raises the question: are streaming services completely taking over the film industry?

“There is something magical and nostalgic about going to a movie theatre,” Ms. Behl, English and Film Studies teacher, said. “The theatre sound system, the lighting, the seating, the movie trailers, and of course, the popcorn, just cannot be replicated at home.”

On December 3rd, Warner Brothers Studios announced all of their 2021 slated releases would drop globally on the brand-new streaming service HBO Max, and only in select theatres worldwide. Barely a week later, Disney+ dropped the plans for over fifty new original movies and shows coming exclusively to the service in the next three years, including highly anticipated Marvel and Star Wars originals, continuing to convince more people to subscribe to the service.

Television Production teacher Mr. Moore weighed in on the discussion. 

“I see a growing trend in movies and shows being developed for streaming services. People love on-demand binge-watching. If a streaming service has good content, they will have more subscribers!” he said.   

Streaming services are not only changing the way we watch movies, but also how upcoming filmmakers are learning about the industry. 

“I’ve only taken one film class at BU so far, but a lot of it has been geared towards the newer streaming services because essentially that’s where jobs are right now,” Boston University freshman film student and PV alum Alex Shores said.

The film industry is continuously changing with the times, and now must morph to include the undeniable popularity of streaming services. Whether that will be positive or negative for future filmmakers and moviegoers remains unknown.

Photo: “Netflix” by brianc is licensed under CC BY 2.0