It's finally going to happen: money made from streaming services worldwide will soon be higher than cinema takings for the first time, says a new report from media analysts Ampere.
While streaming subscription revenues in the US surpassed cinema takings in 2017, globally cinema has still been marginally ahead. However, UK video-on-demand takings are expected to outstrip cinema by the end of this year, and with China following suit in 2019, the global scales will finally tip in favor of streaming.
It's perhaps slightly surprising that it’s taken this long, and that the difference isn't higher: cinema revenues are expected to come in at just under $40bn globally next year, while OTT (over-the-top -- industry jargon for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, etc.) services will rake in $46bn.
Unsurprisingly, Ampere’s data shows that more expensive cinema tickets lead to fewer people going to the movies. There's a clear correlation between ticket prices and cinema attendance.
In Mexico, where tickets cost just $2.50, people go to the movies an average of 3.3 times a year. In France, it's about $8 and people go 1.5 times a year. In Scandinavia, where a ticket will cost you $13+, people go less than once a year on average.
In 9 of the 15 markets surveyed, the average cinema ticket price is higher than a month of subscription to a video-on-demand service. When you look at it like this, it's surprising anyone still goes to the cinema at all.
Still, the widely-held perception that streaming is killing cinema is unfounded, says Ampere. Streaming subscribers tend to go to the movies more often than non-subscribers, meaning there's a group of film fans who are basically propping up the whole cinema business.
An Ampere Senior Analyst comments:
"Our analysis of consumers in 15 markets reveals that although there are differences in the cost of cinema attendance by country, there’s clearly an appetite for entertainment content amongst a certain segment of consumers both for the big screen, or a smaller one.
One key fact for the cinema business to understand is that while streaming/video on demand subscribers are more avid cinema goers than the general public, this may not always be the case. Therefore, the shared experience of watching a film on the big screen must remain an enticing —and realistically priced—one."
Please also apply that principle to the popcorn too!