After the entire industry suddenly decided it needed a streaming platform of its very own, and saturated the market while hoarding all of its own content in a quest for exclusivity, revenues collapsed. You can only grow so many platforms so far before customers draw a line. We see this with subscriber numbers plateauing after their initial growth.

Wondering where all their extra income went, while maintaining expensive platforms with huge production budgets, studios finally woke up to the fact that licensing content out to others was important. Years down the line, it is like free money.


Warner Bros. Discovery was first out of the gates into this new reality, striking a deal to licence some of its HBO library to Netflix on a non-exclusive basis. Insecure, Six Feet Under, and Sex And The City all went across to what was a “rival” platform.

Now, in an interview with Vulture, Judd Apatow has said he has some developing concerns over how this will cause things to develop:

“I’m of two minds. There’s a part of me that’s an audience member: I’ll go back and rewatch Deadwood or NYPD Blue or any of the David Milch shows. I understand why people like the comfort food of television.

But it’s a scary thing as a creator of television, because of all the streamers going, ‘Wait a second. We don’t need to spend $200 million on a new show. We can just bring back Barnaby Jones.’ They’re going to do it, then you’ll get fewer new shows.

They realize, Oh wait, Netflix can just buy shows from HBO, and I would assume they’re cheaper than making new ones. Then at some point, Netflix will sell its shows to HBO, and it’ll just be passing around all the episodes of Ballers for the rest of our lives.”

His concern comes from the lack of creatives in the decision-making chairs. As he puts it:

“There are these corporate behemoths and people from the tech world taking over creativity. And for some of them – not all of them – their intentions are just eyeball time online.

After a weekend spent consuming “content”, including a supremely disappointing Road House remake, I think he may have a point but also his nostalgia may be misplaced. True creatives haven’t been prevalent in the upper echelons of the Hollywood power structure for a long, long time.

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