Dawn of the Ads-and-Subs Streaming Wars
Surprise! How the shift could bring leverage to talent and creators and programming upheaval
The Streaming Wars are headed for change. While “subscription-only” business models won’t disappear, advertising will be an integral part of every streamer. Consider these headlines/news stories:
Netflix will launch an ad-supported tier in November.
Disney+ will launch an ad-supported tier in December.
Roku hired Charles Collier from Fox to run its media business.
Amazon is increasing its content budget for Amazon FreeVee by 70 percent.
This all feels a bit… strange, for lack of a better word, for those of us who’ve been covering the Streaming Wars over the years.
As of 2015, our future looked ad-free. No more political ads shouting at us, or geckos pushing insurance, or prescription drugs touting their effects. We could watch our mountains of “peak TV” free from interruptions thanks to subscription fees. And yet, soon nearly every streamer will have ads. When Netflix says it’ll stop forecasting subscribers to focus on revenue growth which will be helped by advertising, that tells you change is in the air.
Let’s not undersell the impact advertising could have on streaming business models. Not just to revenue and bottom line, but on how these companies conduct their day-to-day business and think about what they do. So that’s the topic today. First, I’ll outline the trends in advertising business models, and the various impacts these could have on streaming.
How leverage for talent/writers/producers may shift in their favor
Changes in programming that likely woud result
A breakdown of ads on SVOD, FASTS and vMPVDs
How all of this may impact the potential Writers Guild strike