For the first time ever, streamers are pumping out more original content than broadcast and cable networks. According to FX Networks, 495 original scripted series aired in 2018; 160 of those ran on streaming services (not counting reality shows or kids programs), compared to broadcast networks (146) and basic cable (144) (editor’s note: the number of scripted original cable programs dropped almost 20% from year-ago).
Back in 2015, FX CEO. John Landgraf predicted that we had reached a point of “peak TV,” an original programming bubble that would soon burst. Three years later, the bubble is still inflating. And 2019 will bring an onslaught of powerful new streaming options competing for American eyeballs—and wallets. A frenzied talent grab is underway, with streamers and studios jostling to lock down recognizable performers and high-end creators, the effects of which won’t be evident on our screens until midway through 2019 into 2020.
A huge pile of money is up for grabs in this television-industry version of the Wild West (the Boston Consulting Group calls it a “$30 billion battlefield,” as people continue to ditch their cable subscriptions). No one knows how many streaming services the market can bear. Would you pay for three? Five? Fifteen? It is clear, however, that not everyone will survive this rodeo, so the pressure to get out in front with stellar original content and a hot back-catalog is huge.
Source: Press, J. (2018, December 14). Will the Peak TV Bubble Finally Burst in 2019? Vanity Fair.
Editor’s Note: This commentary from Vanity Fair covers a variety of issues as well as forecasts for key content studios, even Walmart.