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Streaming Vs. Cinema: How Is Film Industry Being Changed

The battle between movie heroes and villains on the big screen fades in comparison to the behind-the-scenes supremacy battle between streaming services such as Netflix and cinemas. Each of the two platforms is fighting to win over movie enthusiasts and claim the bigger share of revenues generated from movies.

Streaming Vs. Cinema: How Is Film Industry Being Changed

Traditionally in the U.S., cinemas were allowed 3 months to show a movie after its release, after which it would then be released to streaming services and DVD. That window allowed the theaters to make their money before everyone else claimed their stake. But then, the rise in popularity of Netflix’s original movies is threatening the future of movie theaters and small-screen entertainment in a big way. Netflix original movies aren’t bound by the 3-month window rule- they hit the screens immediately after release, spoiling everything for movie theaters.

Another streaming service, competitor Amazon Studioshas been pushing to have their movies shown in theaters for only 8 weeks after release, after which they start airing on the Amazon Prime Video streaming service. Some A-list celebrities are in support of Amazon’s push that, if it goes through, it could potentially cripple cinemas.

As cinemas struggle to withstand stiff competition from streaming services, the paranoia pandemic has "frozen" the film space. Cinematographers are now stuck at home because of quarantine. Guess where they get their movies from? From digital TV! Those in quarantine use it Raspberry Pi 4 to convert streaming devices and digital TVs which automatically makes even the staunch theater goers fall in love with streaming. Online consumption is now ingrained in people’s routines more than ever before. So, as much as movie theater operators want to fight it, Internet might as well have permanently changed how people consume content and the film industry as a whole.

But how exactly has streaming changed the film industry?

Streaming Vs. Cinema: How Is Film Industry Being Changed
  1. Reduced in-theater attendance

Let's face it - watching Netflix movies in the comfort of your own home is very attractive. All you need is an internet connection to watch movies, you don't need to buy a ticket, there is a wide variety of movies on the platform to choose from, your food and drink options are always better at home and everything is cheaper and more convenient. The cinematic experience of the theater cannot match such high levels of comfort. In addition, users can now download movies from torrent sites and store them on their smartphone for convenience, mobile watching. You just need to discover the best torrent sites and you’ll be good to go. downloading.

2. Streaming is giving low-budget movies a chance

Blockbuster films are very popular in American in-house theaters, perhaps due to their big-buck appeal. The Marvel movies, for example, record huge attendance numbers every time they come out. Low-budget independent films, on the other hand, are discarded by theaters and studios for their low returns. Streaming services like Netflix are coming in to change the narrative by producing low-budget films and giving them an audience. Upcoming actors have found a lifeline in streaming platforms. Surprisingly, big stars, the caliber of Eddie Murphy, Meryl Streep, Martin Scorsese, and Sandra Bullock, are abandoning studio supported films in favor of streaming platforms.


3. Promotion changes

Promoting upcoming filmmakers through advertisements (magazines, newspapers, TV commercials and posters) is not as effective today as it was before the advent of the internet. The digital advertising of movie trailers dominates the cinema. Caring for advertising material that will win or at least compete with streaming services is the biggest challenge facing theaters. With the online marketing, movie enthusiasts get better user experience and more active engagement.

4. Changes in production

The Online video production tools have made it possible for anyone to edit, produce, and distribute movies across multiple platforms. Novice filmmakers are finally getting a platform to showcase their talents and claim a share of the lucrative film market. As much as most of them produce poor quality material at the moment, it would be risky to write them off just yet. They can only get bigger and better. Moreover, the status of film making as a specialized occupation, a status that has survived for decades, is critically under threat.


Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video will continue to influence the future of film production and distribution. And with more and more entertainment companies coming into movie streaming, there is no denying that the in-theater film industry is under serious threat. Their only option is to reinvent their production and marketing policies, failure to which they will be gutted very soon.

Author: Andin Bicknell

Andin Bicknell is a Data Science grad student at Georgetown University. He takes a keen interest in internet security and privacy. In his spare time, he likes to write on topics related to technology.


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