With 2020 changing the way people work and relax, there’s reason to believe that 2021 will see things take a further shift in the same direction. Let’s take a look at the reasons streaming services will be big in 2021.
2020. Where to begin? At the time of writing, the world has been in chaos for a year. The Covid 19 pandemic has effectively ground the world to a halt and forced the working force to stay at home and change the way they operate, with many relying on zoom and remote working to get by. The same can be said for the way we spend our free time. What can we do when the shops are closed and we are told to stay indoors? Other than exercising, the two main forms of entertainment have come from gaming, and TV/movies.
Streaming Services and Cinemas
2020 saw the closure of all cinemas for months on end. Some closures were temporary, others were permanent. Rather than halt the flow of new releases altogether, we saw the movie industry taking the initiative and releasing new, blockbuster movies directly onto streaming services such as Amazon Prime and Disney+.. We saw Borat 2: Subsequent Movie Film, Mulan, and Irresistible, to name a few. Then there were those that were released in cinemas initially only to quickly release digitally just a few short weeks after, like Sonic the Hedgehog.
With the pandemic showing no sign of slowing and no real end in sight, chances are we’re going to see many more new movies released direct to digital platforms in 2021. Not only is it the safer (and cheaper) option for movie studios, but it allows the public to watch the latest blockbusters from the comfort of their own home.
How Well Did Streaming Services Perform Throughout 2020?
When looking at the reasons streaming services will be big in 2021, it is useful to take a look at how well streaming services performed in 2020. What were the trends? And were viewer numbers higher than previous months and years?
Overall, the market for streaming services saw growth of 37% in 2020, with the largest rise being with Disney+. Disney+ hit a whopping 73 million subscribers in its first year. When you take into account the fact that analysts predicted the service would hit approximately 50 million subscribers by 2022, the numbers speak for themselves.
Another service that performed incredibly well in 2020 was Apple TV+. Apple TV+ premiered with the sports comedy Ted Lasso, and the Beastie Boys Story documentary.
In order to drive sales further, Apple has begun ‘bundling’ their streaming services with other products and with their usual aggressive marketing campaigns, Apple TV+ is sure to excel in 2021.
Streaming Services and Cable TV in 2020
It’s not only cinemas that have been adversely affected by streaming services in 2020. Cable TV services have also seen a steady decline in comparison to streaming services in 2020, despite the fact that people have been forced to stay indoors and entertain themselves.
One of the reasons for this could be that with the release of exclusive films and TV shows becoming increasingly prevalent in recent years, more and more people are beginning to switch over to platforms such as Hulu and Netflix, where they can watch not only the shows they would usually watch on TV, but also the new (and often very good) shows that premier on these platforms exclusively.
Another possible reason we are seeing a steady decline of cable TV viewership and an increase in streaming is that streaming is a relatively cheap subscription service in comparison to cable TV. Not only that, but often cable TV companies have several different packages and price tiers which can be confusing for consumers.
And last but perhaps most important to understand, is the fact that cable TV companies are generally very large businesses with a lot of moving parts (metaphorically). This means it had been significantly harder for them to adapt to the pandemic and offer loyal users an alternative, competitive service that can rival the streaming services.
With more big names such as NBC, AT&T, and Disney moving into the streaming business, it is clear that the service as a whole is only heading one way. It may well be the future of home entertainment.
The Reason Streaming Services Will Be Big in 2021 – Overview
If, like me, you already own several of these services mentioned above, there’s a good chance you understand the potential they have in them to be the future of home entertainment. If they are able to stay competitively priced, and continue to produce decent, original content as well as have content that would usually be on cable TV available, streaming services are going to dominate the market in 2021.
Add to the mix the fact that film studios have already begun to release big, new movies directly to these services, and you’ve got a recipe for success. But is it at the detriment to cinemas and cable TV? Quite possibly. But unfortunately, with the current global pandemic and the way we have had to adapt to it, streaming services are a fantastic resource for anyone looking for a way to be entertained for hours on end.