Friday, June 2, 2023, 9:57 AM ET|Posted by Will Richmond
Some big SVOD services are cutting content from their libraries, including certain originals. Most prominently, Disney recently said it’s taking a $1.5-$1.8 billion impairment charge related to content cuts.
The idea of “rotating” content in and out of libraries is nothing new in SVOD, but as profitability becomes paramount, the current cuts seem to be deeper and signal a shift in thinking. Whereas the past has been about “more is more” when building libraries, a “less is more” sentiment appears to be taking over.
The question we explore is whether and to what extent subscribers will react? After all, if the content being cut is lightly viewed, then few people will notice (“if a tree falls in the forrest….”), and presumably the impact would be minimal. But, as Colin notes, there’s an audience for everything, and with SVOD subscribers having been spoiled by a bounty of riches, a perception of reduced choices could hit home.
One thought is that if this content can’t make it on SVOD, perhaps it will find a home on a FAST service. But that might not be an option, as Colin refers to recent discussions indicating FAST providers have become more disciplined given the explosion of free content and their push for profitability as well.
Net, net, as we discuss, there may well be content that isn’t viable on streaming. It’s not unprecedented; there’s lots of content that didn’t make the transition from VHS to digital, because the economics just weren’t there.
Listen to the podcast to learn more (36 minutes, 41 seconds)