The Streaming Wars are heating up.
Evil dictators and Bond villains are no longer the only ones who can rule the world.
Today, streaming services are fighting for control of the world’s eyes in an increasingly expensive struggle.
HBO Max is the most recent network to go on the offensive.
It will be available in six European territories this month, 21 more by the end of 2022, and 190 countries by 2026, after making its debut in the United States last year.
Even the Bond villains aren’t safe: Amazon purchased them as part of a $8 billion purchase of the 007 property earlier this year, as the streaming service invests heavily in wooing viewers.
With roughly 200 million subscribers, Netflix is still the one to beat, thanks to its huge investments around the world in quest of fresh worldwide hits.
As the global craze for South Korean dystopian show “Squid Game” demonstrated in recent weeks, it has proven to be a highly successful technique.
Netflix is now expanding its reach into Africa.
It has already given artists in Nigeria and South Africa scholarships and $1.5 million in pandemic response cash.
On Thursday, it announced a competition in collaboration with UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural agency, to identify talented filmmakers from Sub-Saharan Africa to introduce local folktales to its service.
“What we’re seeing very clearly is that the more authentic the tales are, the more they travel,” Netflix Africa’s Ben Amadasun told AFP.
The corporation is also experimenting with strategies to entice viewers in Africa, an area with lower disposable money, including its first free service in Kenya, which gives away some programming in the hopes that consumers will pay for the remainder.
“As the first to generate excellent international content,” Julia Alexander of Parrot Analytics said, “Netflix is in a pretty fantastic position even now, because it’s the one service that a lot of people feel they must have.”
However, a growing number of powerful competitors are gaining ground, ranging from Hollywood studios to TV stations to specialty specialists.
WarnerMedia owns HBO Max, providing them tremendous firepower with a massive library of shows ranging from “Friends” to “Game of Thrones” and “Harry Potter” to “Dune.”
Disney+, which has an army of superheroes and star warriors, has achieved tremendous progress as well, with 116 million subscribers just 18 months after its debut.
“Not all the cards have been played yet — the game is still growing,” said Philippe Bailly of NPA Conseil, a media consultancy.
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