Glimpse of the Future: The 7 Streamers
Ziffren Brittenham's co-founder on what we get wrong when we discuss competition
Ken Ziffren is a co-founder of entertainment law firm Ziffren Brittenham, and an adjunct faculty member at his alma mater, UCLA Law, since 1998. He is also the so-called “Film Czar” of Los Angeles, appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2014 and re-appointed by Mayor Karen Bass in 2023.
Today is the first in The Ankler’s Glimpse of the Future series, covering the next phase of entertainment. The series is for paid subscribers only.
With the coming of the New Year, there has been a plethora of media and entertainment industry articles predicting future developments in the streaming world. Many of those articles purport to describe the media and entertainment world as somehow in lockstep among companies. That's a big mistake. The U.S.-based publicly owned companies, in my perspective, vary wildly; it's not like comparing apples and oranges, rather it is like comparing an elephant to a trout in many cases. And my thesis is supported by the fact that on Wall Street there is no recognized ETF (exchange-traded fund) or Index fund which links similar companies together for the investors' pleasure as there is with, for example, Ad Tech, Transportation, Agriculture Futures, etc.
Many commentators focus attention on the streamers as if they all had common issues, without distinguishing the companies fitting that description from one another. That's what I'll try to do in this article, looking for each company's baseline characteristics and then move forward to identify some of the unique crucial issues it faces.
Let's start with the leader — Netflix. It's the only streamer showing positive