Dead Renata Scotto, the last divine opera –

After years of boom, streaming platforms are having to take the first steps back in terms of both subscriber numbers and hours watched. This is a phenomenon that already started last year in the United States, after a subscription binge during the pandemic, and has also reached Italy, where habits are inexorably changing. Certainly a physiological drop for a method of use that has been mainstream for some time now, but as industry experts are convinced, it is also inflation that is putting pressure on family accounts and forcing users to focus on forms of vision like advertising. that all operators are now gradually activated. In addition, the market is increasingly dependent on compelling content, which makes the subscriber base more volatile and pushes viewers to switch to one platform over another, depending on the offer. Disney+, for example, continues to grow relative to its competitors, but with the depletion of the great Marvel series, the trend seems doomed to reverse.

That’s why platforms continue to invest in original content: According to a recent report by It Media Consulting, Netflix is ​​the most prolific platform with 935 titles and 3,531 streaming hours in 2022, of which more than 50% comes from international productions. outside the USA. Disney+ is also expected to increase its annual investment in original content by 82.8% between 2022 and 2027, the highest of any other media and entertainment group. In this context, the Hollywood strike, which has been going on for more than a hundred days and risks greatly affecting the coming years, cannot but cause concern.

In addition, there is the aspect of fashion and habits, especially of the youth, which decisively determine the market. From this point of view, the use of social networks, as It Media once again testifies, is increasingly rewarding, from Tiktok to Twitch, as well as Youtube and Facebook. According to some experts, platforms, including because of their cost, are destined to be perceived by new generations as old ones, in much the same way as it happened in the last decade with traditional television. Video games, music streaming, short videos and interaction seem to be the forms of entertainment of the future, and not just watching movies or series. Italy reflects this trend, and the latest data published by Agcom only confirms this. According to the agency, in March 2023, 15 million and 275 thousand users connected to one or more platforms, which means a loss of 870 thousand users compared to March 2022. Not only subscribers are decreasing, but also the hours spent watching content when paying: in general, the decrease was 12.8%. Among other things, Netflix lost 9 million hours and 3.6% of its subscribers.

The company founded by Reed Hastings has been battling this trend for some time now and has already gone undercover by focusing on new business models, including ads, and tightening passwords to prevent co-browsing. The latest strategy, which seems to have done well in the United States so far, attracting many viewers who haven’t paid before. Netflix, but somehow the whole market now seems to have come to terms with the end of the great subscription race and, unlike in the recent past, is increasingly leaning towards opening up ads in such a way as to increase revenue, even at the cost of lowering the number of subscriptions. On the other hand, the market seems saturated right now, as evidenced by the collapse of Amazon Prime Video in Italy, which hit 8 million hours watched in March, down 40% year-on-year. Contrary to the trend, in the analysis of Agcom, Disney + and Now, but the overall picture does not change.

So much so that even free platforms are losing views: Mediaset, Sky TG24 and RaiPlay had 648,000 fewer users in March last year than last year. Another giant is also suffering, such as Warner Bros. Discovery, which in the US turned HBO Max into just a Max that includes both Hbo and Discovery with a new commercial strategy, but the number of subscribers fell by 1.8 million (from 97.6 to 95.8). million). It also seems to have ended two series with a lot of fans like The Last of Us and Succession. Max’s international launch is expected next year when the platform begins live streaming.

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