We’re moving through a transition period as many popular consumer services seem to be making the big shift to digital; one of the most well established industries, gambling and casinos, is one of the big ones as mobile sites have been replacing brick and mortar counterparts for a number of years. And despite changes to limit options for some players, operators are finding ways to deliver new games, and services such as Max Casinos have become incredibly popular. Other forms of entertainment may soon follow suit: Disney+ may be looking to change the world of on-demand video.
Livestreaming and video-on-demand are already a staple of the entertainment industry and have grown to this point in a relatively quick timespan. Netflix has been the originator of the home-brewed series, for example, and has been able to deliver some of the greatest TV moments. Despite this, theatrical box office still reigned king for movie releases and though numbers have been great on the streaming platforms, they often don’t rival theatrical releases.
Two of Disney’s most recent titles are set to break this pattern, however. The first was Hamilton, which had been set to do a full theatrical run before the pandemic but, in an effort to put the streaming service first, Disney instead decided to release it directly to the Disney+ platform – and to great success. For a number of days in July, the title remained the most watched piece of streamed content across all similar sites. The next step taken was the release of the much-anticipated live action Mulan with a $30 price tag , setting a new standard for streaming platforms.
While there have been some complaints about the price, for a family of four this is much cheaper than the admission to a cinema and is a cheaper option for many to watch a new release from the comfort of their own home at a reduced cost. While this is only one example, at a time when travelling to watch the latest release in a theater isn’t well advised, it could lead other studios to consider doing the same. A little earlier this year Universal Studios released Trolls World Tour directly to VOD ; it made more in a short three week run than the previous title in the franchise, Trolls, did with a cinema release, showing that in certain circumstances there is a huge potential for success.
It’s likely we won’t see a major change in venues for huge blockbusters, but it may not be entirely surprising to see streaming services and video-on-demand increase in popularity for some of the smaller titles, especially as cinema-going and the live viewing experience continue to drop among viewers’ priorities, particularly as we move through to the other side of the pandemic.