Will streaming services replace movie theatres? Why or why not?

I believe that streaming services will eventually replace movie theaters. Although for a while it seemed like this idea might have been a tad bit absurd, after the coronavirus pandemic began the online streaming service industry not only had a boom in incoming customers, but there were even records broken for online movie streaming. For example, the children’s movie, “Trolls: World Tour” bypassed movie theaters and instead premiered on-demand via streaming services. In its opening weekend it made $100 million, taking the whole film industry by storm. These sales were the largest in recorded history and they have now brought to light the question, “Where do we go from here?” The movie industry has been one of many industries that have been greatly impacted by the virus, and so to see a film gross such numbers has led many TV and film companies to further think about the direction of the industry from here on out.

Recently, Disney has announced that they will shift their focus to prioritizing streaming which follows alongside with other major media companies making this change as well. With such large media companies switching from traditional to streaming services it will surely have a large impact on the industry as a whole. Other companies are sure to follow suit and with such a large change it will inevitably make streaming the new normal when it comes to our media. While we could go back to movie theaters when the virus is finally under control that will still probably not be for a couple more years. A couple of years is a long time for an industry. Implementing more focus into streaming for the time being, people could become fully used to using streaming services. It would also be instant money for the media companies. Due to this, if they see better numbers than before, then they might not feel the need to fix a system that isn’t broken.

Of course, only time will tell whether this will truly be the new norm or not. There are plenty of consumers who are actively voicing that they want to return to the movies as soon as it is humanly possible. So far, in certain countries that have opened up their movie theaters again, including in Japan, there have been record numbers of moviegoers coming to watch movies on the big screen. The Japanese animated film Demon Slayer was the highest grossing film on record in Japan and also did extremely well months later when it premiered in the United States.

However, aside from the state of the world as we know it now, there are also bound to be plenty of technological and societal changes that will further advance, and thus have the potential to change, media altogether. What is considered the industry standard now could become something completely of the past in a few years. Or a long-stated practice could continue to be held for many more years to come. Only time will tell on this one.



absurd (adj.) – silly, ridiculous or foolish
gross (verb) – to produce or make (such as an amount of money)
follow suit (idiom) - to do what others are doing
implement (verb) - to begin to do or use something (such as a plan); to make something active or effective
highest grossing (adj.) – [also top-grossing] describes something that made more money than anything else; to earn the most money