• Harrison Jones

Streaming VS Cinema

Can blockbuster movies remain on the big screen after coronavirus has retreated? Let's talk about that...

If you haven't noticed yet, social distancing and leisure activities work in unison, and that safety procedure is probably going to remain in place for quite some time. One popular industry we want to discuss is the cinema industry, and how movie streaming sites like Netflix could become the new trend for movie fanatics.

Streaming VS Cinema

Can cinemas return to pre-covid levels?


That is a very difficult question to answer, firstly because we don't know how many people are going to be afraid of that kind of social setting, in a dark, probably unfiltered room, with up to a couple of hundred other people. A good point to make is that even before coronavirus came to light, cinemas were able to turn a profit on very low capacity, sometimes 15-20% capacity can help a cinema chain thrive, simply because operating costs are very low in the industry.


There's no denying however, that the big screen is an experience like no other. The buzz we all get from seeing a hugely anticipated film for the first time is worth it, even if it costs more than a large meal at McDonald's!



Streaming VS Cinema

Streaming services - Netflix is expanding its offering


Although Netflix's share price isn't really significant in determining whether streaming services can overtake cinema chains, Netflix is sitting on a price of almost $550 - This shows one thing, that streaming is booming. Watching movies and TV shows has never been easier, and Netflix offer a host of genres in their collection, as well as different releases from the rest of the world.


It is much cheaper than opting for a cinema subscription, and users get to watch different movies an unlimited amount of times. In fact, Netflix premium accounts cost less than one cinema ticket, and they can be used on 4 different devices logged into the same account at one time. This has been globally exploited by users however, as Netflix still hasn't patched the ability to use a Netflix account outside of the same household on registered devices, so you can easily have 3 or 4 families paying $10 a month for unlimited use of films.



Streaming VS Cinema

The main argument for cinemas is that movie producers will still be going to them for box office screenings for a long time to come. There is simply more profit in big screen cinema than there is in the streaming service industry. Back this up with the unique experience people get when heading to a cinema and you begin to understand that the odds of streaming services wiping out cinemas in the short term is very low.


So, will cinemas be beaten by streaming services? Not yet, but possibly in the years or decades to come - Streaming is so much easier, and cheaper, and it'll only get better as portable technology diversifies.



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