retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Here’s a trend that simply screams “disruption.”

Deadline reports that in 2018, for the first time, there were more original television series produced for streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and Hulu than there were for traditional broadcast and cable networks such as CBS, NBC, ABC, HBO and Showtime.

In fact, there has been a 385 percent increase in streaming series in the last four years.

That’s remarkable. And for people who like to watch quality programming, a little daunting - there’s simply too much out there. It only is likely to get worse (or better, depending on your point of view) - both Apple and Disney are launching new video streaming services. There will be others.

I’m not sure this all is sustainable.

There are only so many eyeballs out there, and only so many hours in the day that people are willing to dedicate to watching anything. It also is fair to say that not everything being produced is high quality … when I scroll through Netflix, for example, there are a fair number of titles that make me shake my head and wonder who the hell is watching this stuff. At the same time, producing all this stuff is expensive - Netflix, for example, has financed its production ambitions by accumulating debt, and while it is playing a long game, it can’t go on forever.

But the landscape is being altered, forever. How we consume content is changing, forever. What we expect, in terms of accessibility and breadth of content, is changing forever.

Retailers and suppliers should look at all of this as a metaphor for what is happening in their businesses, It isn’t apples-to-apples, and will take place in different ways and at different rates.

But it is happening. It will continue to happen. And business as we know it, every business, will endure - and, if they are smart, will embrace - these changes with Eyes Open.
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