When the internet came into mainstream popularity, the benefits were clear – communication. It opened the world and reached a point where you can almost connect with anybody in any place in the world from wherever you are.
However, despite it’s immediately seen benefits, the internet has made a profound impact on so much more, such as the way consumers behave. In particular, how we consume media such as movies and television shows.
The shift can be traced back to the introduction of third-party services, namely those involved with online shopping. For example, there was once a time where you would either visit a store which you knew or even browse their website. And why wouldn’t you have? It was the only way to shop online. However, with the introduction of third-party services, consumers started to shift their first point of contact from the stores themselves, to platforms which offer a range of discounts and sales, such as the Groupon Coupons page for Aerie.
But what does online shopping have to do with visiting the cinema?
The shift to third-party services triggered a change in consumer behavior, whereas we learned that there were other ways to consume the same quality product, other than from their source.
Enter: Online streaming services.
Whether you call it Netflix, Hulu, Prime, or any of the other many names and platforms which are available, third-party online streaming services have built their entire business off the back off already published entertainment titles, many of which haven’t seen the light of day for decades.
Yes, but I’m not going to stay at home to watch old TV shows.
Correct. However, you will stay at home to watch a movie or a fresh new TV show which has been tailored to your interests. And this is exactly what these services have begun.
Popular TV shows such as House of Cards, Star Trek Discovery, New Stand up comedy as per announced by News Eminency and a range of high-budget and independently directed films are now being released on third-party streaming services, created and produced by the very platform itself. Each platform will call it something different, but you can bet that if a TV show or Movie is advertised as being original then the service you are using to watch it is the very same service which created it.
And while their offerings may not be at the level you expect from a full-scale cinema, with each new release, each platform receives crucial viewing data to improve its services and offerings in the future. Something which cinemas simply can’t do.
For example, imagine that you begin to watch a new series on Netflix. You watch 2 and a half episodes and then stop watching.
Netflix not only knows that the shows interested you but also which parts you skipped through, how often you paused it (showing disinterest or distraction), along with when you stopped watching it and never returned.
While it may seem insignificant, this information allows these services to finely tune their content, constantly and precisely evolving each new piece of content.
This is where the shift will happen. Once these platforms reach a point where they are able to create and deliver almost guaranteed successful pieces of content, there will be little more to offer consumers which will entice them to visit a cinema.
After all, why pay $15 for a ticket to see one movie when you can pay $9.99 between friends and watch a range of movies anytime you want and anywhere you have an internet connection.