Friday, October 23, 2020

The U.S. has nearly 300 OTT services to choose from

Using its OTT Video Market Tracker tool, Parks Associates has found that the number of OTT services in the United States has reached nearly 300.

The firm said the total is more than double the amount when compared to 2014.

Within the past nine months, a number of major OTT services have made waves within the industry: NBCUniversal launched Peacock and WarnerMedia launched HBO Max. ViacomCBS is also planning a re-vamped CBS All Access and changing the name to Paramount+ while Apple and Disney continue to pour millions into promoting and building up their own streaming services released just last year.

The market research group also found that only six services have thrown in the towel so far in 2020. However, the report came out before Quibi this week confirmed it’s shutting down. Regardless, it’s a huge decline compared to 2018 when 19 services left the marketplace.

This spells trouble for theaters throughout the U.S. that have rushed to reopen despite an absence of mainstream blockbusters and a growing number of COVID-19 cases.

"As theaters began to reopen over the summer, film studios had to weigh their options in releasing new titles," said Steve Nason, research director at Parks Associates, in a statement. "The decision to delay the latest James Bond film ‘No Time to Die’ hit the theater industry hard, and Disney's announcement to move the Pixar film ‘Soul’ to Disney+ shows studios are putting more emphasis on streaming as many theaters remain closed or at limited capacity. We could see studios who also own streaming services experiment more with different transactional and windowing options within their offerings, as Disney did with ‘Mulan’ on Disney+ in September."

With many Americans still under some form of quarantine, critics suspect theaters are unlikely to recapture their audiences any time soon. 

From the article "The U.S. has nearly 300 OTT services to choose from" by Christian Balderas.

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