Ever since the invention of film as an art form, it has been no stranger to innovation. In an ever-changing industry where the needs and interests of viewers can shift both suddenly and dramatically – it is only natural that we see technologies in film and television rise to the forefront, only to inevitably give way to new innovations.
Streaming represents exactly the kind of startling new invention that has proved to be serious competition, and services such as Netflix only seem to be gaining popularity year after year. Prominent television and film producer, Michael Luisi produces a brief overview of the future of the film industry.
Television and Film: The Early Years
By the 20th century, a new art form had been born: The motion picture. Like any art form, it made the journey towards development, but only decades after its inception, it exploded into a fully-fledged Hollywood industry, quickly placing emphasis on actors, directors, and new film-making techniques.
Soon after, film made the leap from the silver screen to the small screen, and although it did not become popularized until the 40s, television proved just as popular as its cinematic counterpart. Originally showing exclusively live performances, a stark contrast compared to movies, pre-recorded television content quickly made strides and before long, the formation of the major television networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and FOX over the years shifted the industry as a whole towards specialization.
Initially, television was thought to be the outright downfall of traditional cinema. With the convenience of the film experience available at home, Hollywood feared that people would stop attending movies altogether. As the years passed; however, television and film had in fact learned to co-exist with one another. The cinematic experience would remain worthwhile in its own right, and television would cement its own identity instead.
Michael Luisi believes that it was only a matter of time before they would both be threatened by the invention of an all-new viewing experience: Streaming. Capitalizing on the shifts and trends in both the television and film industries, streaming was destined to take the world by storm in the 21st century.
Streaming: A Paradigm Shift
After a successful DVD rental service that sent content by mail, Netflix got its foot in the door with consumers and started revolutionizing how we watch content. The year 2008 saw the implementation of streaming services for the first time, and Netflix quickly became a cultural phenomenon. It is now a household name, and is almost universally available across the globe. The overall success of streaming can be attributed to the way it almost effortlessly meets the needs of consumers that were established by television and film, namely specialization and affordability.
With the ability of consumers to access an entire library of content all at once, this proved a stark contrast to cable television scheduling and movie release dates. In addition to a massive surge in quantity, Netflix also struck a chord with consumers thanks to its subscription-based model, providing an experience that was just as affordable, if not more, than cable or movie tickets.
What the Future Holds for Film and Television
According to film producer Michael Luisi, streaming has proven to be a legitimate form of competition for both television and film. Having been a longstanding competitor with TV, Netflix is now competing with the film industry by demonstrating that it can attain the same level of production value. This fact has put Hollywood on the defensive ever since, as Netflix has also been matching pace with their rate of producing content.
Recent trends such as cord-cutting, the act of switching from traditional cable television to watching streamed content are further drawing the line between watching films and shows traditionally as opposed to online; consumers can’t necessarily afford both anymore.
With all of this in mind, there is uncertainty even in the streaming industry. Netflix is facing new competition from a slew of upcoming streaming services, such as Disney+ and HBO max; at the end of the day though, this just means that the streaming side of the competition is casting a bigger shadow upon TV and Hollywood.
Michael Luisi is a prominent film/television producer and executive who has served in a producing capacity on over forty productions. He launched his newest business endeavor at the beginning of 2019 and already has three projects in production, with several others scheduled to go before the cameras in 2020.