Matt Stoller: "Time to Break Up Hollywood"

I can’t say that this commentary by Matt Stoller isn’t a little too political. However, he does make some good points. Here are a couple of paragraphs:

In an attempt to monopolize, studio-streamers accidentally transformed a high-wage, high-profit business into a low-wage low-profit commodified one. For a time, this decline in industry health wasn’t obvious. Netflix had told Wall Street a story that its overall goal was to get customers locked in, and this convinced the street to give the capital to make lots of content regardless of profit. Other studios followed, overpaying for content in the hopes of being the last man standing, in the era of what was known as “Peak TV.” As Discovery board member John Malone put it, “Everyone went for this mad Oklahoma land rush of streaming … That was a fool’s errand.”

The lock-in was a mirage, as consumers switched services to find content they wanted to watch. No one, as it turns out, wanted a streaming service, they wanted individual shows and movies. Vertically integrated streaming services, contrasted with markets where consumers pay for what they want, aren’t very profitable. [emphasis added] HBO, Peacock, and Paramount all lost money in the first three quarters of 2022, and this year, Disney’s streaming services raised prices and removed content, and still can’t make a penny.

Markets work, don’t they? Clark Howard clearly believes in the free market.

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