Last week I shared my four key lessons for the streaming industry from 2022—the departure from the traditional calendar, the crushing impact of debt, the primacy of ARPU, and the potency of international markets. This week, I’m looking forward to 2023 and beyond. It’s always fun to make informed predictions, but it’s especially interesting as Hollywood struggles to rightsize and recalibrate after an upside-down year in the markets.
One note: I’m not going to guess which company will buy another. M&A activity will certainly pick up as increasing bite-sized market caps become appetizing for larger competitors with cash on hand, Lina Khan be damned. That hardly counts as a prediction—it’s a certainty. With that out of the way…
1. Prepare for Non-Traditional Bundles
There are all kinds of ways to bundle streaming services: supplementary scale bundles, like the Disney Bundle, which leverages Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ to increase the overall size of its footprint; ecosystem bundles, like Apple One and Amazon Prime Video, which keep people subscribed to a broader lifestyle offering within a platform; and bundles that cross-pollinate, like old school promotions, such as Paramount+ partnering with Walmart. (Bob Iger launched Disney+ through a similar numbers-boosting deal with Verizon.) In 2023, expect to see much more diverse and creative bundling outside of traditional video services.