‘There are more streaming services than the market can bear’ says FX CEO

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In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, FX CEO John Landgraf reckons we’ll be seeing a few streaming services fade out over the next few years.

Have you heard of this new distribution model called streaming?

It’s great. You pay a little bit of money to a media conglomerate every month, and they send you every TV show and film they ever made down whatever wires lead to the internet. Repeat that about a dozen times, and you’ve got a) a combined runtime of entertainment longer than the natural lifespan of a Galápagos tortoise, and b) an empty bank account.

Well, according to the CEO of US TV network FX, that could all be about to change. In an interview rather apocalyptically titled “John Landgraf Opens Up About What Led to — and Ultimately Killed — Peak TV“, the network chief has made a few predictions on the state of the streaming model going forward.

“There are just not going to be seven or eight or nine or 10 or 12 or 15 profitable streaming services. There are going to be four or five or six or three”, Landgraf says, arguing that the streaming wars have churned out far too many competitors in an industry which can only really support the biggest of the bunch.

In a way, the revolution seems not unlike the establishment of the studio system that’s dominated Hollywood for the last 100 years. “What made Hollywood stable was that there were a number of very long-term, very successful companies, and they fought like cats and dogs with each other, but they also acknowledged each other’s existence and they were capable of selling to each other”, he says.

To cut a long story short, we’re not at that point yet in the streaming system. With a market constantly in flux and companies entering the streaming wars without any experience in a relatively new industry, mistakes have, and will continue to be, made. “You can’t blame anybody but inexperience for that”, Landgraf adds.

All in all, if the FX CEO’s analysis is true, we could be heading into a tough adjustment period for the streaming industry. When even Disney is apparently deciding to pivot away from the third most popular streaming service on the planet, moving planned streaming shows into cinemas and licensing some of its smaller brands to Netflix, things aren’t looking too bright for what was once hailed as the future of the entertainment industry.

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