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Independent producers look for an Avengers style team-up to survive global streaming
The Future. Consolidation is in the air for global entertainment, especially as new streaming services demand licensed content, new films, and shows to keep subscribers hooked to platforms. While so much has already been gobbled up, expect marquee outfits such as Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment, LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill, and blockbuster powerhouse Legendary Pictures to all find new homes in 2022.
In the entertainment industry, 2022 may be the year of “consolidate or get left behind.”
- Studios and streamers are shacking up, including a merger between Discovery and WarnerMedia as well as Amazon’s acquisition of MGM.
- Investment firms are rolling up a diverse array of producers — see Blackstone’s purchase of Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, CoComelon-creator Moonbug Entertainment, and Israeli TV producer Faraway Road.
- International conglomerates are even taking charge of available American TV producers. South Korea’s CJ Entertainment acquired 80% of Endeavor Content just as it’s about to launch its own streaming service, TVING.
- International companies are also looking at the world at large, such as ITV, which has 60 production labels in 12 different countries and is continuing to grow.
Even smaller arthouse production companies don’t want to miss out on the action. A diverse clan of international shingles formed a collective called “The Creatives” in order to share resources and co-develop content.
Their goal is to “protect the independent development process that has been the backbone of storytelling in Europe for decades…to stay as free and creatively interesting as possible, and supply films and series which audiences will respond to.”
What’s driving this unprecedented level of consolidation and expansion? Streaming. The sudden rise of streamers has led to record demand for content, requiring an insane amount of material, production infrastructure, and money to get off the ground.
By scaling up, these firms are ensuring that they are able to provide an endless supply of content to meet demand worldwide (because subtitles mean nothing anymore). Additionally, acquired companies bring in a fresh library of titles, which means passive revenue. And who doesn’t love passive revenue?