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Opinion on the Streaming Wars

Who's investing in Content?

October 12th, 2020

By: Fred Sidorkin


I firmly believe content is king with streaming platforms. When I ask my friends what do you wanna watch, they'll list out shows, not platforms, movies not companies. What Netflix has done so well over the last few years is dump all its money on getting the best content on its platform and off of other platforms. So who are possible contenders? Well let's look at who else is spending on content:


Disney: $27.8 billion There isn't a doubt in my mind that Disney+ platform will be one of the tops subscribed given their content library already hitting 60million subscribers


Comcast: $15.4 billion Peacock launched 2 months ago and has already hit 15million subscribers (perhaps a dark horse if they manage to make an award-winning show soon)


Netflix: $15 billion (just leaving them here for context)


ViacomCBS: $15 billion Paramount+ is set to launch in early 2021 (it's joining late but we'll see what content it brings)


AT&T: $14.2million HBO Max (HBO + Cinemax+other warner bros content) has 4.1million subscribers and has GoT behind it. AT&T actually owns a lot of different brands (AT&T now, DirecTV, etc..) and I'm wondering how well it will be able to shed some of its dying pieces. it's honestly too confusing to figure out what's what


Amazon: $6.5 billion I think prime Video is actually gonna have the next big hit (WoT) but that's just my bias. On a serious note, Amazon has a leg up because it has the largest intrinsic user base with its prime subscribers (150M) allowing it to have a HUGE advantage through network effects. It's hard to analyze thought because Prime Video is really just a supplement to normal prime and it's hard to know the numbers of people for whom their content will be the tipping point to get an Amazon subscription. They will probably remain a player in this space for a while though.


Apple: $6.0 billion They have a great brand and are basically a lifestyle brand. If you buy one thing Apple, you buy everything Apple. They will probably be able to sell their service to their users even if it's worse than competitors considering how they've already done it so many times.


FOX: ($5.7billion), Discovery ($4.6 billion), Sony Pictures ($2.7billion) These are all old names and they're spending less than their competitors. Unless they find a content niche, I don't think they'll survive.


The article lists a few more but I've mentioned all the biggest ones. I'd love to hear your thoughts!



Fred Sidorkin is Marketing Society's Co-President for the 2020-2021 school year. Fred is a senior at Stern double concentrating in Finance and Statistics and majoring in Psychology.

This opinion piece is based on this article: https://variety.com/2020/digital/news/netflix-2020-content-spending-17-billion-1203469237/

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