How has streaming affected film? Experts were consulted

In the past, in order to ensure that you did not miss an episode of your favorite show, you had to forego all outside activities and remain at home with the TV Guide in hand. In the case that there was breaking news or an important athletic event ran long, your program may be removed from the schedule entirely. After that, you wouldn't know when you would find out what occurred next on Buffy: The Vampire Slayer.

And unless you were the proud owner of an expensive satellite subscription, you might not find out exactly why The Sopranos was meant to be the best thing ever done until a number of years have passed and you have purchased the complete DVD box set.

Platforms for streaming media completely revolutionized all of that. In 2007, Netflix began its transformation from a DVD delivery business to an online center, which was the spark that ignited a revolution in the ways in which people consume and produce content. (A revolution, by the way, that would very likely be shown on television). Instantaneously, scheduled television was switched out for television that could be watched whenever and wherever viewers pleased.

Netflix had 204 million users all around the world as of the end of 2017, and its catalog included more than 3,600 movies and 1,800 series. Its revenue in 2020 was an astounding $25 billion, which is equivalent to approximately £18 billion, and an ever-increasing number of streaming platforms has emerged to wrestle Netflix for dominance of your bandwidth and bank accounts: Amazon Prime (150 million subscribers), Disney Plus (87 million), HBO Max (38 million), and Apple TV Plus (10-33 million) are now just a few of the platforms demanding a share of your attention.

Naturally, having multiple platforms gives you more content options to choose from. However, in the vast majority of cases, these platforms are not simply producing content that is disposable. The greatest level of critical acclaim is being given to a growing amount of content that was produced by studios affiliated with streaming services. Netflix led the pack in 2021 with 16 films that were nominated for a total of 35 Academy Awards nominations. These nominations included Vanessa Kirby's nomination for Best Actress for Pieces of a Woman, Da 5 Bloods' nomination for Best Original Score, and If Anything Happens I Love You's win for Best Animated Short. In 2022, Netflix won the award for Best Animated Short.

And now, following a shutdown caused by a pandemic that lasted for more than a year, streaming platforms are not only producing content that is worthy of an Oscar, but they are also acting as hosts for critically acclaimed films such as Nomadland, Judas and the Black Messiah, and Promising Young Woman. Online platforms provided the only opportunity for audiences to view these films during awards season because theaters were closed (at least in the United Kingdom).

The introduction of streaming services has brought about a fundamental shift in the manner in which we take in content. But do streaming platforms make it simpler for filmmakers to get their tales expressed, or has the push for unending programming had a negative impact on both creative expression and diversity in the entertainment industry? In order to find out, we discussed the topic with influential members in the industry.