Content Wars (Part 1) — Precursor

Welcome to the first of a series of posts that will look at the ongoing streaming content wars. Here, we’re referring to the battle between various streaming services. Both Netflix and Amazon have highly popular streaming platforms with a plethora of licensed, purchased, and original content. Recently, we’ve also seen a few new names emerge, mainly due to some studio consolidations. The biggest of which are Disney/Fox, NBC/Universal, CBS/Viacom, and AT&T/Warner. As these studios cultivate their own DTC platforms, they’ll slowly reclaim their content properties.

Disney+, Peacock, CBS All Access, and HBO MAX. Naturally, these studio driven platforms own their content libraries. So what happens to the outlets who have historically licensed their content, like Amazon and Netflix? What happens when the licenses for TV shows and films expire and go to their studio owners?

Well — produce and purchase original content, of course. To stay on top, Netflix will need to churn out hit after hit of original content while taking risks on several new properties.

While on the studio side, the cost of entry into the DTC market is part of the reason for these mergers. Consolidation provides a more extensive content catalog for the hopeful streaming platform. Disney+ is a great example, showing Disney copyrighted content and content from Fox, Marvel, and Hulu. We’ll likely see further consolidation and probably an acquisition of MGM, Lionsgate, and other content libraries and content producers sooner than later. But one thing we know for sure, the demand for original premium content is exceptionally high.

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Throughout this series of posts, we will take a look at some of the big streaming giants, along with some key industry trends. We’ll see what companies are offering and how they adapt to the content wars. We’ll also look at COVID-19 adjustments and how it has altered content production in 2020. Ultimately, content is king.

One question that we’ll explore is if a content library purchase beats innovation and original content? No matter how many shows are in the Disney+, Peacock or HBO MAX libraries, can they compete if other streaming giants produce innovative content? Because, how many times can we really, repeatedly watch Friends.

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