Studios experiment (again) with film and TV release strategies

Studios may be trying to recreate the rewards of old cable and DVD systems.

Together with

The Future. The notion of the closed-garden streaming service may be coming to an end as studios search for every way possible to squeeze money out of films and shows. From bringing back advertising to toying with premium rentals, studios may be trying to recreate the rewards of old cable and DVD systems in the era of DTC entertainment.

Reinstalling the windows
Welcome to the new ways — which are a lot like the old ways — of generating revenue from content.

  • Surprisingly, following in the footsteps of the rest of the industry (other than Apple), even Amazon Prime Video will introduce an ad tier.
  • FAST services such as Tubi, Roku, Pluto TV, and Freevee are becoming cornerstone platforms for monetizing titles after they’ve stopped getting engagement on premium streamers.
  • Instead of moving movies straight from theatrical to Peacock, Universal introduced a high-priced rental window (PVOD) in between — a strategy that has brought in an additional $1 billion in revenue while barely affecting the box office.

Allowing movies and shows to exist in multiple formats and move across various streamers also gives a safety net to writers, directors, and producers that their projects won’t just disappear at the drop of a hat — as has happened at Warner Bros. Discovery and Disney.

Case in point: international producers are growing increasingly nervous that much of their success relies solely on Netflix viewership. That’s a lot of eggs in one basket.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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