Exhausting the Streaming Watch Lists
Both Liz and John Sisemore worked from home pre-COVID-19, and to deal with the occasional boredom or loneliness that often accompanies remote work, the couple often visited the local movie theater, ate at restaurants, or visited friends’ homes for board game nights. With those social activities no longer a viable option, the couple has turned their living room into a Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon streaming entertainment center.
“We’re big on movies, in the theater and at home, so we have a pretty nice home setup,” John explained, “it wasn’t super expensive compared to what’s available out there, but we did our best to provide good picture and audio quality in our home.”
According to Forbes, the movie industry is predicted to lose $11 billion and TV advertising is expected to experience a 15% decline. Streaming traffic has surged 30-50% on mobile and hardline connections. Traditional TV and movie revenue generation strategies are being replaced with new methods of revenue generation. Not all viewers are interested in the switch.
“We’ll pay a few bucks to stream on demand movies, but we just aren’t into the new Prime Video Cinema offerings that cost more than getting tickets at an actual theater,” Liz said. “The theater price is for the experience in the cinema itself, not access to the film, in my eyes.”
Though they’ve been movie buffs for years, they aren’t interesting in purchasing and streaming any of the new theatrical releases that have made their way to the streaming giants, such as The Invisible Man, Trolls World Tour, or Onward. Instead they’ve opted to watch less expensive on-demand movies and free offerings.
“We’ve been able to catch up on this year’s Oscars list with Little Women, Bombshell, and Parasite, but also re-watched some timely favorites like Contagion and Outbreak,” Liz said.
People are spending time at home more than ever and looking for new ways to entertain themselves; the Sisemores are no different. Many at-home streamers have opted for the on-demand Prime Video Cinema from Amazon, as seen in the infographic below with data reports from Box Office Mojo, an IMDB (Internet Movie Database) company.
Two of the largest U.S. theater companies, AMC and Regal closed all of their theaters on March 17. Major movie distributors have pushed back release dates of some of the most anticipated films of 2020, including No Time to Die, Mulan, and Black Widow.
In addition to movies, the TV industry has been forced to adapt to the new normal of COVID-19 as well. Parks and Recreation broadcast a fundraising reunion special where characters conducted the entire episode via video calls. SNL broadcast two episodes of at-home skits while late night staples Colbert, Kimmel, and Fallon have shifted to quarantine monologues. It’s innovative in a time of crisis, and people are streaming the content.
According to Deadline, the SNL at Home episode hosted by Tom Hanks drew in a larger audience than the most recent live episode hosted by Daniel Craig on March 7.
Time will tell how the film and TV industries will fare in the coming months and years. Several states have begun loosening stay-at-home restrictions, including Texas. Governor Abbott announced that theaters can operate with no more than 25% capacity, though theaters such as Alamo Drafthouse have opted to remain closed for the protection of their customers and staff.
For now, the Sisemores will continue to opt for staying at home unless running essential functions, such as grocery store shopping or business trips. Entertainment will continue to be streamed in their home and they’ll continue their nightly Netflix binges.