A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Entertainment

Netflix, streaming services, destroying the film industry

While “Netflix and chill” is a common phrase among teenagers, the phrase Netflix and kill seems more appropriate to those in the film industry. The hit streaming service has become a staple in households around the world, but is effectively killing the film industry’s creativity and threatening box office sales.

In the past decade, companies such as Netflix, Hulu and now Youtube Red have been on the rise- dominating the movie and television show market and creating a new alternative for people to view their favorite movies and shows. Fewer people are going to theaters or watching cable television, and while the easiest scapegoat for this problem is streaming, the root causes of this lie further than Netflix’s convenient service.

Between the 1970s and 80s, quality movies were pumped out of Hollywood in high quantity. This is known as one of Hollywood’s golden ages – the time where attendance was
high and ticket costs were low, prompting theaters to create new, iconic movies including
“Star Wars,” “Pulp Fiction,” and “Terminator.”

Today, these are the classics, recognized for the long-lasting impact they had on the industry. Since the widespread distribution of streaming services, however, Hollywood’s
creativity plummeted. Looking at recently released movies, adaptations of comics and remakes of older films are the bulk of the industry’s releases. But if the majority of art
being pumped out has already been done, then nothing new is being produced.

According to Uproxx, in 2017 alone, 47 movies were remakes, and another 27 were sequels
or prequels. Looking into the future, the lack of creativity only seems to be growing: according to IMDB, 135 remakes are scheduled to be released in the next four years, with the number growing every day.

This decline in creativity leaves many dissatisfied, prompting them not to watch
the fifth Transformers movie or yet another carbon copy of the “Italian Job.” To address this, ticket sales and concessions have skyrocketed in price, allowing remakes to dominate
the market due to an already existing fanbase. People become dissatisfied with the movies and now the inflated prices, prompting lower and lower theater attendances- a vicious cycle.

In comes Netflix with the best bang for your buck. While giving people the convenience
that streaming services give, the cost efficiency for the massive assortment of movies and
shows, Netflix has also begun to amend the gap in creativity that recent blockbuster films
have ignored. Netflix Originals like “Black Mirror,” “Stranger Things,” and many more have
been some of the most creative and new shows to come around in recent years – all made by
the service itself.

Other companies have been quick to follow Netflix’s example. All over YouTube are advertisements for its latest original series, and the same goes with Hulu gaining the license to shows such as “A Handmaid’s Tale.” Meanwhile, the trifecta of pros for Netflix and other services has created a virtuous cycle- never ending positives for both the company and its viewers. More and more people get Netflix subscriptions due to high costs of movie sales, prompting Netflix to have more freedom creating shows and movies, which again prompts the subscription.

The fact is that today, there just isn’t as much original material being produced for
people to want to pay an average ticket price of $8.50. Netflix giving more creative freedoms to its producers plus the meager cost of $10, only $1.50 higher than the price of the average movie theater ticket price, to watch these original shows and movies is the true killer of the film and television industries.

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