The New York Times has published a data-laden piece pointing to a sudden slowdown in television production as reality bites for streamers after a period of rapid growth and an arms race of content for eyeballs. Television viewing has changed beyond all recognition now as we wait for the next big show to drop, then binge the hell out of it. Especially over winter and spring, there are two or three new, big shows or series a month, if not more.
It is not sustainable, and this period appears to be coming to an end. The days of simultaneously, and curiously, having too much to watch yet not being able to find a damn thing to watch as it’s spread out over so many platforms is winding down.
The article details how scripted series ordered by U.S. TV networks and streamers for the domestic market is down by 24% year on year. This is according to number crunchers at Ampere Analysis.
This downturn started shortly after Netflix lost subscribers for the first time and took a share-price hit. They couldn’t drive the market from the front anymore when it came to big productions. Without them instigating this arms race, other streamers and networks started to slack off.
Wall Street analysts switched form looking at subscriber numbers to looking at balance sheets, so the incentive to spend hundreds of millions on new content just to drive subscribers has fallen.
Series orders have stopped being dished out like confetti as the focus is now on sustainable financial performance with market saturation approaching. Look for potential consolidation of platforms over the next few ears.
The full article is full of facts and figures, for those of you who are into these things. Check it out at NYTimes.com.