Nolte: Cord Cutting, Faltering Streaming Services Brutalize Woke Hollywood

In this Aug. 13, 2020 file photo, the logos for Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus and Sling TV ar
AP Photo/Jenny Kane

Far-left Axios blames the ongoing trauma in the entertainment industry on everything but the one thing causing that trauma: awful, awful content.

Households cutting their cable/satellite TV cord jumped to ten percent in 2022. Even if you figure in those who canceled their cable/satellite package and jumped to what’s known as a “skinny bundle” (or a cheaper form of cable TV), the drop is a full six percent.

Five years ago, 79 percent of roughly 100 million U.S. households paid for cable TV. Fifteen years ago, it was 85 percent. Now it’s closer to 66 percent.

This is costing Hollywood billions. Whether or not you watch CNN or MTV or MSNBC or the Disney Channel, or ESPN, these multinationals still receive a portion of your monthly cable bill. So let’s assume — although it’s probably more — that Hollywood makes $5 a month from those five channels. That’s $60 a year per household. Multiply that times 85 million households in 2007. That’s more than five billion dollars — with a “B” — per year. But now that number has dropped to 66 million households, which means a loss of about a billion per year.

Only it’s a lot more money than that. Look at all the channels on your cable system.

Let me tell you; streaming is not replacing that revenue. Most streaming services are losing money and not growing at desired rates. Wall Street knows this, which is why media stock prices are collapsing.

But let’s get real… The problem is not just changing times or the Biden Recession, or the drop in ad revenue… The problem is the content. Movies and TV suck today. Have you looked through your Netflix menu lately? It’s a $5 billion pile of garbage. There’s nothing to watch.

Same with Peacock.

Sure, there’s some good stuff on both services, but you can blow through the “good stuff” in a few hours or weeks. Then you are left with garbage, a $5 billion pile of garbage.

There’s not a lack of content. Good heavens, there’s a ton of content, endless content… The problem is that it all sucks.

But no one in the establishment media has the moral courage to say this. Not Axios, not the entertainment trades. Old-fashioned crowd-pleasers such as Top Gun: Maverick and Spider-Man: No Way Home prove and prove again that people are eager for great content. But these hacks still blame COVID or market forces or this or that. They blame everything, but the truth is that content is king. If people enjoy the content, they will purchase the content.

But speaking that truth means admitting woke and diversity and inclusion and grooming and equity and homosexuality — everything but great stories and great characters that stand for universal truths — don’t sell.

Can’t have that.

Nope, Axios would prefer to make a fool of itself by pretending the emperor is fully clothed.

One answer appears to be combining streaming services:

Paramount, Warner Bros. Discovery and NBCUniversal are all expected to sell or combine with other media entities in the next few years, in order to give their businesses the scale needed to possibly compete with tech firms like Amazon, Netflix and Google.

Smaller TV companies are also scrambling to adjust. Lionsgate is looking to spin off Starz. Paramount is beginning to bundle Showtime with its primary streaming service. AMC Networks is laying off 20% of its staff.

That’s not the worst idea in the world. But the success of these combos will depend on pricing. If you combine the AMC, Showtime, Starz, and Paramount streaming services, you can’t charge $20 a month. It’s still not worth it.

It could be worth it if 99 percent of the content didn’t suck, but suck it will.

I just had a whole week off, my one week where I don’t do anything other than sit in my screening room. Over those ten days, I watched only two fairly new movies: Glass Onion, which was fun but forgettable, and Emily the Criminal, which was much better than expected. Other than that, it was all older movies on Bluray, many of which I watched for the first time — especially the foreign titles. Believe me, if I want to see something “new,” I’ll take some Italian movie from 1965 I’ve never seen over any of the crap being produced today.

I could have spent all ten days watching streaming movies and TV shows I’d never seen. Sorry, no. No way. No way am I going to waste my time like that.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNCFollow his Facebook Page here.


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