GADGETS

2021 was the year the live stream pushed our culture buttons


It comes as no surprise that 2020 will be a busy year for live streaming. With people staying indoors last year, the services saw millions of new subscribers — Netflix attracted 16 million customers in just three months, alone. The first part of 2021 continued this trend, but as the year draws to a close, growth appears to be slowing across the board. This suggests that as restrictions ease around the world, people may return to pre-pandemic standards.

But overall, 2021 was a pretty big year for live streaming. Netflix now has 214 million subscribers globally, and services like Disney+ and HBO Max have attracted customers with exclusive TV shows and movies. American platforms, such as Peacock, have expanded internationally, and online-only programming has been well represented in several award shows. Exclusive titles for live broadcasts, such as squid game And WandaVisionIt became part of the cultural landscape. Slow year or not, this is clearly how most of us watch our shows right now. Here are some of the biggest stories broadcast this year.

Netflix

Netflix continues to dominate

As mentioned above, Netflix is ​​the undisputed leader in streaming with more than 214 million subscribers worldwide. Sure, it’s faced some challenges from competitors like Disney+ and Amazon Prime, but Netflix is ​​still going strong. Part of that is due to the company’s strategy of investing in original content that you can’t get anywhere else, like Weird things And the crown.

And of course there is squid game It is undoubtedly the number one TV show of the year. Netflix said about 142 million families watched the show in Korean, making it the most-watched new show in Netflix history. There is also a version red notice, which became the service’s most-watched movie in its first 28 days of release, with about 328.8 million watch hours in that time period. This tops the previous record he held bird box, which recorded 282 million watch hours in 2018.

Things don’t seem to be slowing down either. Netflix has signed multi-year deals with big names like Kevin Hart and Steven Spielberg, has exclusive rights to Universal animated films and bought the rights to the entire Roald Dahl catalog. This phenomenon

However, 2021 was not without hiccups. The biggest one to date is when Netflix employees staged a protest against the CEO’s statement defending Dave Chappelle’s own stand, who has been heavily criticized for his transphobic content. CEO Ed Sarandos has since said he “mistakenly” in the messages, but has not quashed his defense.

loki

Disney

Disney+ proves to be a serious contender

On the other hand, Disney+ currently has 118.1 million paying subscribers worldwide, which is completely incomparable to Netflix. But the service is still ahead in 2021, with about 43 million more subscribers than last year. Much of that can be attributed to Disney’s strong brands like Pixar and Star Wars, and especially in 2021, Marvel.

It was 2021 when the Marvel Cinematic Universe released four different TV shows, all exclusively on Disney+: WandaVisionAnd The Hawk and the Winter SoldierAnd loki And hook. That’s a big deal, as Marvel said these TV series are key to the MCU’s “Phase Four” chapter, suggesting fans will likely want to watch them in order to understand the context behind upcoming movies set in the same universe.

But there was more to these shows that required watching. As the first to walk out the gate, WandaVision Adjust tone. Episodes were meant to be watched weekly, with each episode stimulating so-called “water cooler” discussions in person and online. This was a lot like “anti-overeating” TV, in that much of the appeal of these shows is in the anticipation of what will happen next. At least, show that the list of Disney + original content – which also includes The Mandalorian and next boba fett book It can stick on its own against more established platforms.

Wonderful Woman 1984

Warner Bros.

The Live Streaming Revolution That Wasn’t It

During the height of the pandemic, many films eschewed theatrical releases in order to make their live debuts. Examples include love birdsAnd Borat’s next movieAnd Mulan (via paid Premier Access), spirit, And Wonderful Woman 1984. That continued this year as well, with Disney+ continuing its paid Premier Access model with CruellaAnd Black Widow And jungle trip (LucaHowever, you do not have the Premier Access version).

However, the biggest move was when Warner Bros. That each of her films in 2021 will have a one-month exclusive access period on HBO Max in conjunction with the local release of the film. This means that huge films like suicide squadAnd Dune And Matrix 4 It will be available on HBO Max the same day it debuted in theaters for a whole year.

While some have heralded this phenomenon as the future of entertainment, it seems short-lived. Disney revealed a few months ago that all of its remaining 2021 films will start 45 days in theaters. This may be due to the strong responses to headlines like free man And shang chiDisney may also want to avoid lawsuits like those brought by Scarlett Johansson for breach of contract over abridged theatrical releases. Warner Bros. said. Also, it’s returning to theatrical firsts in 2022. It seems that the live-streaming revolution has yet to come.

Other Notable Streaming News

  • Paramount+ replaces CBS All Access, which essentially opens the service to other ViacomCBS channels, such as Comedy Central and VH1, as well as Paramount’s existing movie library.

  • Discovery+ appears for the first time. The service features content from HGTV, Food Network, Animal Planet, TLC, Magnolia Network, and Discovery.

  • AT&T has separated from WarnerMedia and merged it with Discovery in a $43 billion deal. The new company will combine Warner’s film division, HBO Max and Discovery+.

  • Roku has purchased Quibi shows and released some as “Roku Originals”.

  • Roku has pulled YouTube TV from its store amid a contract dispute with Google. Apparently the latter requested priority in search results and wanted to block results from other providers while using the app. Effective December 8, both parties finally agreed to a multi-year extension.

  • In other notable news on YouTube TV, the service recently lost access to all Disney channels, which includes ESPN, ABC and FX, as Google and Disney failed to strike a deal. However, after only two days, the two companies reconciled and reached an agreement, thus restoring all the above channels. When YouTube TV initially lost out on these channels, Google lowered the price of the service by $15 (from $65 to $50 in the basic package). Now the price is back to normal. However, if users have already initiated the cancellation process, Google will still honor the $15 one-time credit if they resume their membership.

  • WWE Network has ceased operations as most of its content has moved to Peacock.

  • The Peacock broadcast many of the Olympics’ live sporting events as well as the opening and closing ceremonies.

  • Universal has struck a deal whereby Peacock and Amazon Prime Video will have some broadcast rights to the live-action movies after their theatrical release. They were broadcasting on Peacock for four months, then on Prime Video for 10 months, and then back on Peacock for at least another four months. This will take effect in 2022.

  • Netflix has secured the exclusive streaming rights to all of Sony’s upcoming movies, including upcoming titles in the Spider-Man franchise.

  • The peacock first appeared in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

What to look forward to in 2022

While growth in streaming may be slowing, there are still plenty of shows and movies to expect next year. Netflix confirmed that the aforementioned Sandman It will be released in 2022 as well The Witcher: The Origin of Blood And new season favorites like Weird thingsAnd the crown And Ozark. Disney+ will continue to run the MCU for TV shows with Mrs. MarvellAnd we will also introduce you to two Star Wars series: Obi-Wan Kenobi And Andor. However, perhaps the two biggest TV series to get excited about are HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel, Dragon HouseAmazon saga Lord of the rings The series, which is set thousands of years ago the hobbit.

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