The Covid-19 global health crisis has had a profound effect on production companies’ approach to creating and releasing their content. 2020 became a make-or-break year for independent and large production companies that couldn’t adapt to the changing landscape of entertainment. Many movie releases flopped due to the closure of movie theaters around the world. Companies like Disney+ and WarnerMedia adapted by releasing their films online and in theaters.
WarnerMedia’s HBO Max has continued with hybrid releases. Netflix has shown its dominance of drawing in audiences with its original content throughout the pandemic from Bridgerton to Squid Game. Its competitors have most certainly noticed. Larger organizations have been buying up independent production companies left and right to broaden their content. The shift in audiences being more drawn to digital and streaming entertainment sources is no temporary trend.
The Streaming Boom Has Taken Television and Movie Creation By Storm
Reese Witherspoon’s media company Hello Sunshine was sold for a whopping $900 million in August to a firm backed by private-equity giant Blackstone Group. It’s not just media production companies that are changing because of the streaming boom, but the companies that represent the talent. The merger between CJ and Endeavor will allow both organizations to increase their production gives access to each other’s content library.
CJ is currently working on its South Korean streaming service TVING worldwide. Netflix has proven time and time again that South Korean content sells. Sony Picture Television bought the independent British media production company, Bad Wolf. They are the producers behind the HBO/BBC series His Dark Materials. France’s Mediawan and Germany’s Leonine Studios will have a 51 percent stake in U.K. TV shingle Drama Republic. The media giant BBC Studios has been acquiring independent production companies like House Productions for many years.
Independent production companies like ITV, Fremantle, and Banijay have smartly consolidated their resources. The streaming boom has made many organizations reassess their business plans. Media conglomerates like ViacomCBS have been making global partnerships to further increase their content and audiences. With all the consolidation and partnerships, what will happen to the independent production companies that don’t want to sell out to giant companies? Does this mean even more remakes, reboots, and spinoffs of existing content or more original content? Whatever it means, the entertainment landscape is changing and only time will tell its effect on movie and television creation.