• Pablo Peña

Will movie theaters survive competition from streaming services?


Empty movie theater
Theater owners were not happy with WarnerBrothers Studios announcement. WarnerBrothers is to stream online all their 2021 films at the same time they premiere in theaters.

During COVID 19 movie theaters were closed. Several studios made their films available on digital channels. With online streaming services such as Disney+ you can find films even before they are shown in movie theaters.


Many people understood this would be temporary. It seemed something reasonable considering the restrictions. But early this year, Warner Brothers studios announced it would make available all its releases on the same day they premiere in movie theaters. Before that, cinemas had a three-month exclusive right to show the films before they were available on streaming services.


This decision has been harshly criticized by representatives of theaters. Some observers fear this could put in danger their very existence.


Will people still go to theaters when films are available at home from a streaming service?


It is too early to tell what will happen. Four experts wrote about this for the Harvard Business review. They found one country where a similar situation had occurred between 2015 and 2018: Korea. In that country there was a reduction in the revenue for theaters of 0.8%. But they also caution that consumers in the U.S. may behave differently. The same caution should be valid for other markets too.


John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners said, “theaters provide a beloved immersive, shared experience that cannot be replicated.” And Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia, declared that early digital releases provide an opportunity to give customers a choice to enjoy a great new movie at the cinema or on the streaming platform. We will see the outcome of the negotiations between studios and theaters. This will have an influence on how films are consumed around the world.


Have the restrictions also caused a change in the way your firm delivers its message to your target audience?


The trend before the pandemic had been to do more online. The crisis has accelerated it. For many it is now urgent to optimize online activities. Companies want to make more effective use of digital media. For instance, there is an increase in online advertising. If you want to see an example of this just open your YouTube app on your smartphone or tablet. Or use the web browser. Play any video and you will likely notice several ads at different intervals before the clip is over.


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Our clients include companies such as, Facebook, BBC, Nestlé and many more. If you need a quote for our services, you can use our handy online forms: https://www.smartcuts.ch/contact. These help you make sure you provide all the information we need to get you an accurate quote fast. If speaking to a human is more your thing, please call us now at +41 021 211 7071. Look forward to meeting you.


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