Apple and Netflix Are Helping to Reshape the Entertainment Industry, Maybe for the Better

BY Evan Selleck

Published 27 Nov 2018

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Getting a movie made is hard. Getting a movie made and then distributed into theaters nationwide –and especially internationally– can be even more difficult. But the landscape has been changing for quite some time, but more sudden shifts right now might be painting a new picture for the future.

The Hollywood Reporter has a report out on Tuesday that looks into some of the more prominent deals that major Hollywood production companies have made recently. That starts with the likes of Paramount, the house that has distributed films like The Godfather and Michael Bay’s Transformers, among many others. The company recently confirmed that it had signed a major multi-picture deal, which is not uncommon by any means. But instead of the deal being with a director or actor, this particular deal is with the streaming giant Netflix.

Paramount Pictures CEO Jim Gianopulos stated that the deal with Netflix will see an “incremental revenue stream”, as the pictures will be made available for the streaming service right out of the gate, and will stay there so people can watch them multiple times if they want, or catch them well after the initial release date. No longer ham-stringed by the launch weekend numbers of a typical theatrical release schedule.

One of the first films out of this deal is going to be a sequel to To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, which stars Lana Condor (X-Men: Apocalypse, Patriots Day) and Noah Centineo (The Fosters).

However, hearing that Netflix is helping to shake things up is not really surprising, or new. The streaming platform has already been the source of high-profile films that didn’t see normal theatrical releases, including Roma from director Alfonso Cuarón. It’s Apple’s name that should grab attention, especially considering the company hasn’t even launched its own streaming service yet.

According to this report, though, Apple’s deal with production company A24 (which released films like Eighth Grade, Moonlight, Hereditary, The Witch, among others) is another big sign that things are changing in a major way, one that will have lasting effects well into the future and may show a changing to the hierarchy within Hollywood.

“Taken together, the deals represent a major shift in the industry: Movie studios are no longer making films just for themselves, but for the deep-pocketed technology companies that have become Hollywood’s latest conquistadors. And it’s not hard to visualize a time soon when an iconic studio like Paramount becomes a mere supplier.

‘This is the year where the movie business takes on a new paradigm,’ says Tuna Amobi, senior analyst for investment firm CFRA Research. The deals are a reaction to 2018’s seismic changes — Disney’s acquisition of Fox assets, AT&T’s of Time Warner and the announcement of the streaming services both companies intend to launch. ‘Even Apple is taking note,” says Amobi. “Everyone is trying to withstand the onslaught. Everyone is playing offense and defense.'”

This may be a good thing, though, especially for would-be directors, writers, and producers. The deals with Apple and Netflix, ones that will probably include even more streaming services in the future from other production companies, make it possible for these companies to take more chances on the films (and TV shows) they release. Paramount, for instance, already plans on mining its creative relationships and owned IPs, which may not be proper fits for a major theatrical release, or even a minor one at that (unless the film is heavily considered for awards season, of course).

With Paramount and A24 leading the way in this regard, we could see that shift from other production companies in the near future, which this report definitely suggests is waiting in the wings. Where these deals end up, though, will be the interesting part. There is no doubt whatsoever at this point that there are a lot of individual streaming options out there, and with production companies having so many options it may come down to the consumer to figure out which of these streaming platforms they want to sign up to.

The deal between A24 and Apple, for instance, will see the two companies working together to release major motion pictures, but also releasing TV shows as well. Those won’t be accessible outside of Apple’s streaming platform. It’s similar to other exclusives, like Star Trek Discovery, which is only available on CBS All Access. Amazon has its own exclusives, as does Hulu, and we definitely can’t forget the upcoming Disney+ service, which is going to have a whole host of new, exclusive content to bolster Disney’s already ridiculous library of content.

How many streaming services do you currently subscribe to?

[via THR]