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  • Emily Newbold

The impact of streaming

Updated: Apr 30

By Emily Newbold

There are more than 200 streaming services around the world, but despite seemingly unlimited access to any TV shows and movies, the streaming industry might not be as beneficial as made to believe. 

The impact of streaming services is noticeable all across the entertainment industry, eve to viewers themselves. 

From VHS to DVDs, there have been numerous alternatives to traditional theater movie-going, but nothing has impacted the film entertainment industry quite like streaming.

To most, seemingly unlimited access to any type of entertainment imagineable sounds too good to be true, and when asked about the future of their industry many film students and professors expressed concern.

“Executives care about money more. The demand for streaming and putting out whatever you can and hiring just anyone. They just care about money,” said former University of South Carolina media arts major Ahman Ravenel. “I dropped out because of the state of the industry. I didn’t feel motivated to get my degree because they don’t care about writers anymore."

With cutting out the box office and having movies go straight to streaming - or the movies that are made exclusively for streaming platforms - producers, actors and writers are seeing less profit, limited visibility of their projects, and less opportunity for work. 

An outcome of this was the SAG-AFTRA strike over the summer of 2023, where writers and actors went on strike largely against streaming platforms over low wages and job protection, especially against AI. 

“Things are really influx right now. I don’t think anyone quite knows where we're going in terms of how we access content. I think what we're going to see is streaming companies like Amazon, Hulu, Netflix are going to try and become as powerful as possible,” said College of Charleston film studies professor John Bruns. 

“And that may mean buying up theater chains to regulate what is playing. Things are so in flux right now because of deregulation and the incredible amount of revenue these companies have. But it is sure to play out within the next few years,” added Bruns. 

And it isn’t just the uncertainty of the future of the entertainment industry that has creatives all the way to film studies students worried.

It is the decline in quality of projects and lack of new ideas. Not to mention how shortened TV seasons have gotten, the year-long wait between seasons, and the uncertainty of the show’s safety when it comes to cancelation. 

“It feels like there aren’t any new ideas and shows are just dragging on for profit, like the new Sex and the City show. There are live actions of everything now and it's all getting very repetitive,” said College of Charleston film studies student Avery Fidlibus. 

Small screen streaming is only continuing to increase concern while the future of the industry is nothing but uncertainty. 

There are countless benefits to the rise in streaming but until the good is at least equal to the negatives, the impact of streaming will only continue to be a concerning future no one knows the outcome.

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