2022 was definitely a big year for streaming. The market has never been as competitive as it has been over the last 12 months, and while Netflix was trying to overcome the biggest subscriber crisis in its history, other mergers, changes and consolidations took place in the industry. With regard to content, platforms were successful with series and sports broadcasts, but there were also those who recalculated the route of what they were putting in their catalog, aiming at new objectives.
An industry on the move
Much is said about streaming wars, but in 2022 users really found themselves in a real battle to decide which platform to deposit their hard-earned money on.
After years of almost solitude in the industry, the explosion of the market made Netflix difficult to deal with the competition. Despite already being in the process of recovery, the platform lost 200,000 subscribers at the beginning of the year, reaching the peak of its crisis between March and June, when it registered a drop of almost 1 million paying accounts.
The moment of slippage was quite propitious for other companies to put their foot on the accelerator, offering combos with competitors and gaining more and more subscribers. That’s how the Disney took the lead in the industrybecoming the conglomerate with the highest number of users, adding its three platforms (Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu).
Also in this race were Discovery and WarnerMedia, companies that announced a merger, giving rise to a megaconglomerate. The so-called Warner Bros. Discovery now houses streamings from HBO Max, Discovery+ and CNN+ in its umbrella, and has everything to be a thorn in the side of competitors in the coming years.
In addition to all this dispute, in 2022, the streaming market still has other big surprises in store for us.
Starzplay decided to make a rebranding your brand, shortly after fighting – and settling down – with Disney, due to the association of its name with Star+. Called Lionsgate+, streaming has changed its entire visual identity, although its content and forms of subscription remain the same.
Also in the wave of changes, Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video decided to increase the value of their subscriptions in Brazil, going from R$9.90/month to R$14.90/month.
And not even YouTube escaped all this industry movement. In November, the platform announced that it would launch a streaming hub, allowing users to subscribe to and watch services such as Paramount+, Lionsgate+ and AMC+, within the Google interface. The novelty, currently available only in the US, has not yet been confirmed to land in Brazil.
Welcome to the second phase of streaming
If the last few years and even the first half of 2022 were marked by an intense dispute between platforms to gain new subscribers, the same cannot be said of the last months of the year.
With more services consolidating on the scene and reaching a loyal customer base, it is clear how the objectives of companies have also started to change. The streaming market entered a second phase, in which, in addition to adding customers to its catalogue, services also began to desire new forms of profitability.
Disney was one of the brands that made this new positioning very clear. After its former CEO, Bob Iger, returns to the position he held for fifteen years, the company has already announced that the Profitability is your current top priority.
Along the same lines, HBO Max has gone through a series of changes. David Zaslav who took over as CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, after the merger of the conglomerate, was not afraid to assume a much more conservative stance in its management, excluding products from the catalog that did not bring the expected return and canceling productions that were already practically ready.
In both cases, the platforms’ concern was aimed at making products sustainable in the long term, given that cinemas continue to be a great gold mine for the industry and streamings do not seem to bring the expected financial result.
Ads invade streams
Despite the many innovations, it is undeniable that the insertion of advertisements in transmissions was one of the great themes that guided the industry in the last year.
Seen as a way to bring even more money to the platforms thanks to the sale of commercial spaces, this type of subscription has been incorporated into many services as one more option in their portfolio.
In partnership with Microsoft, Netflix launched its version of the plan in early November. Called “basic with ads”, it proved to be interesting, although not advantageous for everyone. Its big problem, however, was having a incomplete catalog due to licensing issueseven though it costs R$ 18.90/month.
O Disney+ also decided to join the trend and, at first, launched its new plan only in the US. Despite being touted by many places as “a cheaper option”, the package actually cost the same as their old ad-free plan, now more expensive due to platform changes.
Although Disney has stated that it intends to expand the subscription model to other markets, it is not known if it will also come to Brazil. And, in that case, Disney+ and Star+, the two services in the country run by the company, will arrive here.
For those who doubt the adherence of broadcasts with advertisements, it is worth remembering that, here in Brazil, some free IPTV and streaming services of this modality gained a lot of prominence in 2022.
Pluto TV was certainly one of the top names on that list, showing solid growth throughout the year. According to data revealed to the Technoblogfrom early 2022 to date, the service has managed to jump from 68 million to 72 million monthly active global users, and has given a boom in its programming, adding 46 new channels to its grid.
Content that got the talk
If in 2022, behind the scenes of the industry, the same can be said about the content released by these platforms.
For better or for worse, many original service productions were highlighted throughout the year, becoming audience phenomena, causing controversy on the networks and uproar among the public.
Netflix managed to maintain its history of good hits and, this year alone, made noise and many views thanks to the fourth season of Stranger Things, Wandinha, Sandman, Heartstopper and Dahmer: An American Cannibal.
According Nielsen datathe fourth season of Stranger Things and Wandinha share the podium of most viewed Netflix series in their debut week. While Wandinha had 5.98 billion minutes watched, Stranger Things reached the impressive mark of 7.2 billion.
But it did not stop there. season 4 of Stranger Things still accomplished an almost unimaginable feat: it leveraged music Running Up That Hill, by Kate Bush, back at the top of the charts, almost forty years after its launch.
HBO Max also made its contribution to the year’s greatest hits with the premiere of the first season of dragon house and Prime Video, despite some controversies, also managed to score with O Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
Inspired by the work of JRR Tolkien, the production is nothing less than the most expensive series ever produced, having cost US$ 465 million in its first season alone. However, according to information released by the streaming itself, she has asserted this title, becoming the Highest-rated series in Amazon Prime Video history and having been watched by no less than 100 million people worldwide.
Sports: the industry’s new ball of the moment
However, anyone who thinks that only series and movies are successful on streaming platforms is wrong. If there was one thing that 2022 proved to be, it was that sports broadcasting is a true winning ticket in the hands of these services.
While platforms like HBO Max and Star+ maintained their plans to broadcast the Champions League and Libertadores, respectively, there were those who rushed to follow the industry’s movement and guarantee their presence in sports.
Amazon Prime Video closed an agreement with the NBA to broadcast its championship, and rumors point out that Apple TV+ is eyeing the NFL’s broadcast rights, in addition to already showing Major League Baseball (MLB) games exclusively on the streaming.
In Brazil, however, the great feat of the year relating to these two universes was, of course, the World Cup. beyond the FIFA+ launchFIFA’s official streaming service, the entity partnered with streamer Casimiro Miguel so that he could broadcast the platform’s 22 games on his own YouTube channel and on Twitch.
With an absurd sound system, in addition to the presence of a narrator, commentators and top reporters from the world of football, CazéTV made history, becoming the most watched live on YouTube in the world. In all, there were 5.3 million people watching the broadcast of the game between Brazil and South Korea, in the round of 16 of the championship.
What to expect in 2023
Although the scenario always reserves some surprises, 2023 promises to give a new boost to the competitiveness of streamings. Now more established, the platforms have other objectives to fulfill and some of the next steps have already been announced.
Next year, HBO Max and Discovery+ merge into a single streaming service. The novelty, which still does not have an exact date to happen, had no values or further explanations revealed, but promises to be one of the great subjects of the coming months.
Netflix, in turn, promises to also pay attention to its game division, which is growing more and more. And, if confirmed, the arrival in Brazil of the plan with Disney+ ads may reveal a price increase in your subscription.
Novelties that promise to be talked about in 2023 and are probably just the tip of the iceberg of the many movements that we will still see in this market.