As the epidemic continues to spread, more countries are asking their citizens to stay home from crowded places, and more large companies are being forced to send their employees home. As people begin to spend more time at home, their daily entertainment activities are limited. This will inevitably cause a sharp increase in online streaming. It seems that streaming services like Netflix are going to gain a lot from this global epidemic. However, the coronavirus outbreak also has some negative impacts on these streaming services. Stay with us to find out how COVID-19 is affecting streaming services.
Benefit from the increasing demand
It is a positive impact of COVID-19 in the short term. As non-essential businesses shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak, people stuck at home have to find other things to keep them occupied. In most cases, watching TV shows and movies is the first choice.
Netflix isn’t the only premium streaming service provider now. Audiences have more options like Hulu, Prime Video, Disney Plus and so on to kill time. They are sure to benefits from the increasing demand during the quarantine. But there will be a content gap if the coronavirus continues to postpone the production of new content.
Reduce streaming quality
As the Internet usage surges in coronavirus-affected countries, the local networks are also facing huge strain. Telecommuting, online study, video streaming and many other online activities require a fast and stable Internet connection. At the request of the European Union, Netflix is working on reduce streaming quality in Europe to relieve the strain of ISPs.
“We immediately developed, tested and deployed a way to reduce Netflix’s traffic on these networks by 25% – starting with Italy and Spain, which were experiencing the biggest impact. Within 48 hours, we’d hit that goal and we’re now deploying this across the rest of Europe and the UK.”
Efforts are taken by Amazon Prime Video to deal with the sharp increase in Internet usage. YouTube will also reduce streaming quality for European countries to prevent the increasing demand on Internet from causing network congestion.
As for Disney Plus’s European launch, it was confirmed that there would be a reduction on video quality. Thus, the pressure on European Internet infrastructure will be greatly reduced.
According to Netflix, it will reduce streaming quality in other areas when it is asked to do so.
“So we will provide relief to ISPs who are dealing with large government-mandated “shelter in place” orders by providing the 25% traffic reduction we’ve started in Europe. For other networks, we’ll stick with our normal procedures – until and unless they experience issues of their own.”
Delay film releases
As theaters are closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, more and more upcoming films are suspended. For example, Disney has delayed the release of Mulan and The New Mutants, Black Widow and Antlers, Universal has delayed F9 (alternatively known as Fast & Furious 9), and Paramount delayed A Quiet Place.
Will these delayed movies be released on streaming services?
They are unlikely to be switched to streaming services because it is impossible to earn the money back. The production of such theatrical releases costs a lot of money. They ought to make considerable profits from the box office.
Pause production on films and TV series
COVID-19 also forces streaming service providers to pause their production on new originals. It was announced that Disney stopped production on several live-action films, including The Little Mermaid, Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings, Nightmare Alley, and other originals like Loki, Wandavision, etc. Netflix has halted The Witcher Season 2 and Stranger Things Season 4.
Now that they have to stop the production of their originals, how do they address the content gap?
Sports are on hold – revenue losses
Many anticipated sports events were also forced to be postponed or canceled because public gathering should be avoided, including Formula 1, The N.B.A, The Kentucky Derby, Nascar Cup Series, Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball, The N.C.A.A., Boston Marathon, Premier League, Champions League, Europa League, Indian Premier League and so on. It was confirmed by IOC that Tokyo Olympics would go on. And the Tokyo Olympics will be decided whether to be postponed or downsized by the International Olympic Committee within four weeks.
As a result, many streaming services focus on sports streaming will go through a hard time. Those streaming services like ESPN rely on sports streaming to make a profit. Since major sports are either canceled or suspended, they are going to suffer great losses.
Whether the launch of new streaming services will be postponed?
Quibi, Peacock, and HBO Max are three new streaming services that are scheduled to launch in the next few months. Currently, there is no news show that the upcoming new streaming services will be postponed.
But Disney Plus did delay its expansion across the world. The Frech government asked Disney to delay the release of Disney Plus in France to April 7. Disney Plus’s India release was also paused and the new release date is to be announced.
The coronavirus is affecting all kinds of businesses. The streaming industry is no exception. It not only draws more users to streaming services but also has bad impacts on them. It is a tough time for all human beings. Hope we can beat COVID-19.
While individuals are trying to make their own contributions to the fight by staying at home, you should also watch out for the coronavirus scams on the Internet. Make use of a VPN service to stop online trackers from monitoring you. RitaVPN is the best VPN for you to stay private and safe online.