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Can Netflix Become The One-Stop Shop For All Media & Streaming?


The suggestion that TV and traditional media are slowly being phased out would not be the most controversial statement you could conjure up about the changing landscapes of broadcasting. There has been such a significant pivot toward streaming services over the last 15 years that TV would struggle to legitimize any long-term future in the business without the boomer demographic.

While this might sound like dramatic language, recent studies have shown that less than 10% of those under 34 regularly watch two or more hours of linear TV per week. As younger generations grow up with the universality of the internet and streaming sites like YouTube and Netflix, this number will likely diminish or, at the very least, plateau.

A Broader Societal Change

Online companies, in general, were still finding their feet, but the success of specific industries was a strong indicator of where society was heading. While any company operating in today’s market must have some sort of online presence, the world was a lot different 15 years ago. Streaming services and digital services were more expensive to run, and fewer people had access to the internet – especially via their mobile devices. Still, some industries were beginning to buck the trend.

Online gambling and casino gaming were the first industries that genuinely showed there was colossal untapped potential, and millions of us would soon prefer to play casino games on our phones and laptops rather than choosing the local land-based provider.

While gambling on the internet made up a small percentage of the industry in the mid to late 2000s, there was a notable shift following the arrival of smartphones. The best gambling sites available online were able to identify that digital casino gaming would be the next big thing in the industry. They ensured that their money and their research went into developing digital gambling avenues.

It is a gamble that has since paid off considerably, with digital casinos now the number one way people play. This digital revolution has spread across all forms, though. Netflix has also spearheaded the broader digital change in TV and movie streaming.

Staying On Top

Netflix has done a fantastic job of cementing its position by using its capital wisely and investing in the biggest names as part of a broader advertising approach to encourage people to sign up for its service. While this is a blueprint that more streaming services are starting to use, Netflix pioneered this – with films such as The Irishman bridging the gap between traditional cinema and streaming services.

Some critics have said that Netflix has a hit-and-miss tendency, using its immense capital to throw its weight behind anything and everything, valuing quantity over quality. We will not sit here and say this is not a valid criticism. Still, all TV channels and movie production companies have been guilty of this in the past – it might be more apparent on Netflix as the entire library is there to explore whenever you log in, but they are still at the forefront of the market.

More recently, Netflix has changed its rhetoric from centering around the number of subscribers to more corporate-driven metrics. Again, this is a deviation away from other streaming sites, and it puts the power back into Netflix’s hands as they try to champion the ideas of global business rather than a mundane, one-dimensional, and occasionally misleading drive to simply have the most new subscribers.

Sports & Beyond

By far, the most lucrative streaming market is sports, and depending on the country you’re in, this could propel any streaming service right to the top of the proverbial food chain. Although Amazon Prime has made inroads into the Premier League and boxing over the last few years, Netflix has remained tight-lipped about its quest to obtain sporting rights.

The gimmick fight between Jake Paul and a nearly 60-year-old Mike Tyson will bring in those who exhibit morbid curiosity about a man who was heavyweight champion in 1986 fighting a man in his mid-20s. While it is hardly a massive statement of intent, it will bring in numbers. Whether it is a legitimate sporting event is another question entirely; it is definitely more of a sporting spectacle than an actual claim to being a streaming service.

Final Thoughts

If Netflix can corner some of the sporting rights, most notably for soccer, the EPL, and any of the Big Four sports in the US – they would have a strong claim as the one-stop channel for all things streaming.

Obtaining these rights is another challenge entirely—Sky and TNT have a pincer grip on soccer in the UK, and the traditional media outlets in the US have substantial sporting broadcasting rights and longstanding deals in place. However, with diminishing returns and smaller revenues in linear TV, it will be a case of when and not if streaming services can obtain these rights, and if Netflix chooses wisely, it will continue to assert dominance in the industry.