Before streaming became a common feature in households, Netflix had sent DVD rentals to customers. Back then, the company’s Watchlist was a must-have. The Watchlist was a queue of DVDs that you could move up and down depending on the amount of time you wanted to watch each one. Netflix would then mail the DVDs to you as they become available.
Today, movie consumption is very different from when Netflix first started. While the company still provides a DVD rental service, most customers now stream content through the internet. The rise of at-home streaming has disrupted various markets. It has caused people’s attitudes toward media to change, including their desire to watch movies in theaters. It has also altered how filmmakers make their movies.
- Indie Films
Before the rise of Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, movie studios were not as open to producing new content. They were worried that certain types of films were becoming too risky to make. Despite the success of big box office movies, smaller independent films could still find their way to the big screen.
Small-budget movies, typically costing around $20 million, were becoming endangered by the rising production and ticket sales costs. Because of this, every box office run was a gamble. In 2015, Netflix started giving money to various auteurs to create smaller films that were not as successful as Hollywood’s big-budget movies. It worked because the company’s customers wanted to watch these movies.
Over the years, the rise of streaming platforms has allowed auteur-driven films to thrive. Many of the $20 million movies at the box office have found a home on these platforms. The most successful streaming-exclusive movies released over the years include Amazon’s Manchester by the Sea, Netflix’s Okja, and Hulu’s Palm Springs.
Unlike in Hollywood, streaming platforms have been more lenient when giving filmmakers more control over making their movies. For instance, Netflix doesn’t force significant changes to a film to make it more palatable to a broader audience. The rise of streaming has also revived the concept of small studio movies, which were previously dead.
- Home Viewing
During the old days of video cassettes, the average size of a home TV was around 24 to 32 inches. Its screen resolution was also dreadful, especially compared to today’s high-end televisions.
At-home movie watching was also a poor experience, as it provided a different audio and picture quality level than the theater experience.
Back then, streaming services were not an ideal experience, as they would have prevented people from experiencing the full glory of cinematography.
Today, most modern households can enjoy the same movie theater experience enjoyed by those who went to the movies. A 65-inch 4K television can be had for around $500. You can also get a good soundbar or surround sound system to enhance the audio experience. Film producers also realize that people are happy to watch movies at home. This is why they are starting to develop more films that are specifically designed for at-home viewing.