on the right timeStreaming platforms at full steam
Some advance their pawns, others move them backwards, others wait in the shadows… Between Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max and others, nothing is going right.
Since Netflix’s health concerns were met three months ago by an initial loss of 200,000 subscribers, to which is now added the volatilization of nearly a million additional accounts during Q2 2022, it’s the entire streaming universe. video that sees itself mistreated. The platforms do not stop sharing press releases, here to report the abandonment of such a project or there, the merger with such a company…
HBO Max is chewing a little
Today, it is HBO Max that creates the surprise by stopping its conquest of Europe, probably scorched by the bad results of the giant in red N. The Warner platform, however, announced that it wanted to establish itself in 190 countries by 2026 and, above all, consolidate its dominance in Europe, which started last March in about fifteen territories, by next year. Why this sudden withdrawal? Simply because of the recent merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery to form 3and global streaming service (200,000 hours of announced shows), just behind Netflix and Disney+. To focus on creating a new platform bringing together Discovery+ and HBO Max, but also to implement a vast restructuring plan, estimated by Variety at $3 billion, the decision was made to freeze most projects.
In any case, the arrival of HBO Max in our countries, in the form of a complete platform, was not on the agenda. In Switzerland, the rights to HBO (and therefore HBO Max) currently belong to the operator OCS for Romandie (included in the Canal+ offer) and to Sky for German-speaking Switzerland. And that’s until the end of 2024, at least as far as Sky is concerned. It is, therefore, to these operators that we will have to turn to watch the long-awaited spin-off of “Game of Thrones,” “House of the Dragon,” on August 22.
Netflix strikes back
On the Netflix side, to stem the hemorrhage of subscribers, the Redmond company now intends to focus on its new system responsible for regulating password sharing. Remember that a Premium account allows you to connect to the platform from 4 separate devices and that nothing prevents you from sending your codes to friends to allow them to access for free. But in recent months, the company has been testing in Latin America an algorithm responsible for offering subscribers who have been using its plan away from home for more than two weeks to open one or more sub-accounts at a price that should be around 3.00 . Foot. each. Otherwise, your main subscription will be blocked. The measure is expected to come into effect on August 22 in Peru, Guatemala and Honduras and then be rolled out to the rest of the world.
Additionally, the platform is still hard at work on its more affordable subscription service, but including advertising, and has just announced that it has partnered with Microsoft to manage advertising content. A surprise announcement, as the computing giant is not an expert in the field. But, according to analyst Laura Martin, an expert in the platform’s financial movements, this partnership would actually hide a strategic approach. “Netflix could then look for a way out,” she explained on the Yahoo Finance channel: approach Microsoft in hopes of being bought.” It’s true that with the recent acquisition of Activision-Blizzard, king of video games, for a whopping $68.7 billion, Microsoft has proved that it’s ready to pull out its checkbook. And the company may well this time want to offer premium video content.
As for Disney+, no thunderous announcements on the show. But the failure of Pixar’s latest film, “Buzz Lightyear” (the film will only break even with a budget of more than $200 million), could have repercussions on the platform’s functioning. The relative dislike of the public will likely confirm the studio in its choice to direct the release of its films only on Disney+. In line of sight: “Elemental”, the new Peter Sohn (“Arlo’s Journey”), which is slated for a summer 2023 release. “Buzz Lightyear” will also hit the platform on August 3.
Amazon Prime Video is looking good
No, at the end of the day, the only one standing straight in its boots is still Amazon Prime Video. As it is about to launch the most expensive series in television history, “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” on September 2 is indeed no time to show signs of weakness. Above all, the platform has just announced a significant overhaul of its app. A welcome touch of polish insofar as its design, its ergonomics and its aging navigation system have put it well behind the competition at this point.
Don’t expect a revolutionary facelift though. The objective here is clearly not to disrupt the already established habits with the competition. So, at first, we find a main navigation command on the left side, with a vertical stack of thumbnails – “Search”, “Home”, “My favourites”, – to explore the different categories. A Top 10 of the platform’s greatest hits will also appear, as well as a system of thumbnails showing the different contents that will come to life when passing over them. Let us know if this reminds you of anything…
The new interface should roll out gradually over the next two weeks for most compatible devices. These are initially connected televisions, video boxes (Apple TV and others), game consoles and Android smartphones. The IOS application, as well as the website primevideo.com, however, may have to wait a few more months. On our side, the update had not yet been done at the time of writing these lines, but Amazon has published a video giving an overview of the main advantages of the redesign.
Paramount+ in Loucede
Note, in conclusion, that a newcomer to streaming, not least, is getting ready to join the dance: Paramount+. The entertainment mountain (“Top Gun”, “Star Trek”, “SpongeBob SquarePants”, “South Park”) will join Canal+ at the end of the year (also in French-speaking Switzerland). The crazier we are…