Amazon plans on doubling its production output, to capitalise on the success of local series like Made in Heaven .
Amazon plans on doubling its production output, to capitalise on the success of local series like Made in Heaven .

Netlfix, Amazon, Hotstar: The streaming wars will likely see a champion in the year 2020

The Lord of the Rings prequel series is easily the most high-profile piece of original programming fans can look forward to in the coming years.
By Rohan Naahar | Hindustan Times
PUBLISHED ON DEC 27, 2019 04:05 PM IST

There was a time, not so long ago, when Netflix delivered DVDs, Amazon sold books and Apple made computers. In 2020, the three companies will reportedly spend a combined $25 billion (Rs 1.77 lakh crore) on producing original streaming content. In 2020, the streaming wars will likely find a champion.

It was Amazon’s history of success as an online bookseller, one report says, that encouraged JRR Tolkien’s estate to sell the company the rights to make a television show based of the Lord of the Rings novels. Amazon’s unprecedented bid of $250 million (Rs 1770 crore) wasn’t even the highest. But Tolkien’s estate was convinced that with self-proclaimed LOTR fanboy Jeff Bezos at the head of affairs, they could use the interest around the show to also sell some books.

The Lord of the Rings prequel series is easily the most high-profile piece of original programming fans can look forward to in the coming years. At a reported production budget of $1.3 billion (Rs 9200 crore) for five seasons, it will effectively be the most expensive television series ever made. But Amazon’s model is starkly different from that of its competitors.

The streamer, after years of producing acclaimed but only moderately successful niche programming like Mozart in the Jungle and Fleabag, will focus on tentpole content in the coming years. Besides LOTR, Amazon is also producing an adaptation of Robert Jordan’s fantasy novels, The Wheel of Time.

Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke has stressed that the company’s model “is not about volume play. It is more about relationship driven play with some best creators in the industry.” A similar strategy was hinted at by Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue. He told The Sunday Times that consumers shouldn’t expect Apple TV+ to create “the most” original content, but rather “the best.” This is in contrast to Netflix’s overwhelming slate of original programming, which is seemingly targeted at all major (and minor) demographics. Cue said that “there is nothing wrong with that model, but it is not our model.”

Apple launched its streaming service in November, and in comparison to Netflix and Amazon, who both launched around the same time in 2016, Apple’s library of original content is microscopic. But the most valuable company in the world is spending handsomely on establishing itself as a major player in the market. Its flagship launch programme, The Morning Show, cost more than the final season of Game of Thrones. In the coming months, Apple will release an anthology science-fiction series produced by Steven Spielberg, a musical drama created by Damien Chazelle, a crime series starring Chris Evans, and an adaptation of the novel Shantaram. The streamer has also struck a deal with media royalty Oprah Winfrey.

Not to be undone, Netflix has struck an exclusive deal with Barack and Michelle Obama, through which the couple will produce a several original shows, documentaries and films for the streamer. Netflix also has deals in place with the estate of Dr Seuss and music legend Paul McCartney, among dozens of others.

The streamer is also the most bullish of the lot in its plans for India. CEO Reed Hastings said at the 2019 Hindustan Times Leadership Summit that Netflix plans on investing Rs 3000 crore on Indian content over the next year. Around 40 Indian titles are in various stages of development, including a lavish Baahubali prequel series and an adaptation of The White Tiger, starring Priyanka Chopra. Hotstar, which maintains its number one position in the Indian streaming market, is looking to spend Rs 120 crore on original content this year, while Amazon plans on doubling its production output, to capitalise on the success of local series like The Family Man, Made in Heaven and Mirzapur. Amazon’s upcoming slate of Indian content includes original series from Asif Kapadia and Ali Abbas Zafar.

In a bid to boost loyal customers, streamers are investing massive amounts into licensing legacy content. With competitors such as NBC Universal, HBO Max and Disney Plus entering the fray, Netflix will lose valuable programmes to their parent companies in the next few years. While NBC Universal spent $500 million for the streaming rights to The Office, Warner Media paid $425 million for Friends. Netflix, meanwhile, paid $600 million for the rights to stream Seinfeld. The rights to stream The Big Bang Theory, meanwhile, are reportedly worth ‘billions of dollars’ and in the hands of HBO Max.

The future of entertainment is handheld. And it’s here.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Anita Hassanandani and Rohit Reddy welcomed baby Aaravv in February.
Anita Hassanandani and Rohit Reddy welcomed baby Aaravv in February.

Anita can stare at baby Aaravv '24/7 without blinking', see new pics

UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:56 PM IST
  • Actor Anita Hassanandani has shared new pictures and videos of her newborn son, Aaravv. Check them out here.
Close
Meghan Markle's friends Abigail Spencer and Jessica Mulroney take to Instagram to defend the former Suits star amid bullying accusations.
Meghan Markle's friends Abigail Spencer and Jessica Mulroney take to Instagram to defend the former Suits star amid bullying accusations.

Meghan Markle's close friends defend her amid bullying accusations

PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 06:56 PM IST
  • Meghan Markle has been accused of bullying Palace staff members during her stay in 2018. While the Kensington Palace said that it is investigating the claims, Meghan's friends are coming to her defense.
Close
Shine Shetty
Shine Shetty

Bigg Boss Kannada 7 winner Shine Shetty rooting for Nidhi Subbaiah and Raghu Vine Store

UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:35 PM IST
With all the judgment around current contestants, Shine Shetty is wondering what it was like during his time.
Close
Sidharth Shukla and Shehnaaz Gill are back in the Bay.(Varinder Chawla)
Sidharth Shukla and Shehnaaz Gill are back in the Bay.(Varinder Chawla)

Sidharth loves rumoured girlfriend Shehnaaz's new music video: 'Proud of you'

PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 05:48 PM IST
  • Sidharth Shukla showered praise on Badshah and rumoured girlfriend Shehnaaz Gill's new music video, Fly.
Close
Rubina Dilaik in the Bigg Boss 14 house.(Colors)
Rubina Dilaik in the Bigg Boss 14 house.(Colors)

Rubina explains why she threw water on Rakhi, says tolerating her was unbearable

PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 03:41 PM IST
  • Rubina Dilaik has explained why she threw water on Rakhi Sawant in a fit of aggression on Bigg Boss 14.
Close
Vikas and Rakhi pose for the camera.
Vikas and Rakhi pose for the camera.

Vikas, Rakhi make funny faces as they party with Devoleena, Rashami, Vindu

PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 03:15 PM IST
  • Former Bigg Boss contestants Devoleena Bhattacharjee, Rashami Desai, Vindu Dara Singh, Vikas Gupta and Rakhi Sawant met for a party. Vikas shared pics with a lovely note for Rakhi.
Close
Abhinav Shukla felt that Rakhi Sawant crossed a line when she pulled at the drawstring of his shorts.
Abhinav Shukla felt that Rakhi Sawant crossed a line when she pulled at the drawstring of his shorts.

Rakhi says Abhinav and Rubina are together today because of her

PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 12:31 PM IST
  • Rakhi Sawant has said she does not like Abhinav Shukla at all, adding that she did not cross any limit when she pulled at his drawstrings inside Bigg Boss 14 house.
Close
Patrick J Adams and Meghan Markle worked together on Suits.
Patrick J Adams and Meghan Markle worked together on Suits.

Meghan's Suits co-star Patrick defends her against Palace's 'shamelessness'

UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 10:23 AM IST
Patrick J Adams, who starred with Meghan Markle in hit series Suits, has spoken in defence of the Duchess. The actor is shocked at Buckingham Palace's 'obscene' attack on her.
Close
Anita Hassanandani has shared a video of herself, singing the Gayatri Mantra.
Anita Hassanandani has shared a video of herself, singing the Gayatri Mantra.

Anita Hassanandani sings the Gayatri Mantra for newborn son Aaravv. Watch

UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 09:47 AM IST
Anita Hassanandani has shared a new video in which she is seen singing the Gayatri Mantra for her son, Aaravv. The baby boy was born in February.
Close
Bigg Boss 14: Rahul Mahajan and Rakhi Sawant entered the show as challengers.
Bigg Boss 14: Rahul Mahajan and Rakhi Sawant entered the show as challengers.

Rakhi Sawant: 'Rahul Mahajan is zero if you remove his surname'

PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 08:09 AM IST
Rakhi Sawant says she does not respect Rahul Mahajan at all, adding that she respects his surname and his parents.
Close
Abhinav Shukla felt that Rakhi Sawant crossed a line when she pulled at the drawstring of his shorts.
Abhinav Shukla felt that Rakhi Sawant crossed a line when she pulled at the drawstring of his shorts.

Abhinav on Salman siding with Rakhi after she pulled drawstring of his shorts

By Samrudhi Ghosh
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 10:44 AM IST
  • Abhinav Shukla opened up on Rakhi Sawant's advances at him on Bigg Boss 14 and how he felt 'dejected' when host Salman Khan sided with her.
Close
Rahul Vaidya cooks breakfast for Disha Parmar.
Rahul Vaidya cooks breakfast for Disha Parmar.

Rahul cooks special dish for 'lady love' Disha, he learnt the recipe from Aly

PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 09:58 PM IST
  • In a new video, Rahul Vaidya revealed that he learnt how to make caramelised eggs from Aly Goni, knead dough from Jasmin Bhasin and even Rakhi Sawant taught him how to cook some dish.
Close
Shehnaaz Gill is currently shooting for Honsla Rakh in Canada.
Shehnaaz Gill is currently shooting for Honsla Rakh in Canada.

Shehnaaz Gill reacts to acid attack threats, says she is gaining 'sympathy'

PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 07:03 PM IST
  • Shehnaaz Gill said that she was not affected by the acid attack threats she got and the doctored videos made of her. She said that she is only gaining 'sympathy' in the process.
Close
Mahhi Vij said that she and Jay Bhanushali love their three children equally.
Mahhi Vij said that she and Jay Bhanushali love their three children equally.

Mahhi Vij reacts to claims that she and Jay Bhanushali ‘abandoned’ foster kids

UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2021 06:14 PM IST
  • Mahhi Vij, in a lengthy note, responded to accusations that she and Jay Bhanushali do not love their foster children Khushi and Rajveer as much as their biological daughter Tara.
Close
Aly Goni and Jasmin Bhasin will be seen in a music video.(Instagram)
Aly Goni and Jasmin Bhasin will be seen in a music video.(Instagram)

Jasmin Bhasin, Aly Goni's music video Tera Suit out on March 8, see first poster

UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2021 04:19 PM IST
  • After promising a surprise to her fans, Jasmin Bhasin and Aly Goni have revealed first look of their music video together. Check out the first poster.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP