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Paramount’s Sale, YouTube’s Trojan Horse & Netflix’s Next Gamble

Shari Restone’s media empire is worth more broken up into its constituent parts.
Shari Restone’s media empire is worth more broken up into its constituent parts. Photo: Lexie Moreland/Getty Images
Julia Alexander
December 26, 2023

It’s been a wild, disruptive, and occasionally sobering year for the streaming industry as Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav turned to licensing, Disney’s Bob Iger began merging Disney+ with Hulu, Paramount’s Shari Redstone searched for a buyer, and Netflix effectively declared victory in the streaming wars. It has also, of course, been an exciting year for those of us in the data analytics and forecasting business. You can read my 2023 predictions scorecard here, but in the meantime, I want to share my industrial forecast for the year ahead. Herewith…

1. Google Will Continue to Quietly Dominate

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my day job at Parrot Analytics is talking with Hollywood executives about their content strategies. By the end of 2023, however, many of those conversations shifted to another topic entirely. Yes, the streamers are still focused on what titles and genres are performing best with different audiences. But they’re also increasingly fixated on how to own the user experience before subscribers even reach their platforms. After all, the only real estate possibly more valuable than the Netflix homepage is the initial landing screen that viewers first encounter when they turn on their connected TV: Roku, Amazon Fire, Google TV (the successor to the Android OS), Apple TV, etcetera.