The future of Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services

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Ted Sarandos, 59, co-CEO of Netflix, worked his way up in the now-defunct DVD industry before moving straight to Netflix when the company was still renting DVDs by mail. Mike Hopkins, 55, head of Prime Video and Amazon MGM Studios, was immersed in digital as CEO of Hulu, the pioneering streaming service owned by Disney, Fox and NBCU, before joining Sony as head of its unit television in 2017. to Amazon in 2020 and reports to the company’s CEO, Andy Jassy, ​​​​56, who has no professional experience in the entertainment field.

Over the past five months, The New York Times has interviewed the three oldest and two youngest executives, as well as numerous other owners and senior executives at major media companies to assess the problems facing the industry and what the future landscape might look like. .

Rarely do these executives speak so openly and openly about the challenge in front of them. And aside from meetings on the yacht, executives in that stratosphere rarely gather to discuss strategy. Not only are many of them fierce rivals – Roberts famously raised the cost of Disney’s 2019 acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets by bidding against Disney CEO Bob Iger – but matches between direct competitors could attract unwanted attention from antitrust regulators.

There were still many disagreements in our conversations, but some consistent themes also emerged, all with important implications for investors, advertisers and the public.

Streaming has long been considered a promising business, because companies like Netflix can add additional subscribers for minimal additional cost. The more paying subscribers a service has, the more the company’s costs can be spread across a broad base, reducing the cost per subscriber.

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