Movie releases on streaming services challenge cinema


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Streaming services have made it easier than ever for people to access new movies and TV shows from the comfort of their own homes.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many feature films and TV shows have been released directly to streaming services in order to ensure that people are not gathering together in theaters. The release of new content to services such as Netflix, Hulu and Disney Plus means that theaters now have new competition that will possibly last after the pandemic ends. 

As Sophomore Sara Setto explains, “I personally think that streaming services make movies a little more accessible. Even with some platforms, when you have monthly subscriptions to use their services, you can get a lot more from the films that are on that platform. Rewatching confusing movies is the best.”

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Setto enjoyed watching movies on the big screen alongside her family and friends. However, she does not mind watching new releases on streaming platforms. Setto believes that you can become immersed in a movie from the comfort of your own home and that you do not have to visit a theater in order to appreciate the fantastical world of cinema.

Watching a movie in a theater does have some fun qualities to it that watching a streaming service does not. For example, many theaters use the big screen and state of the art sound equipment to make it seem like their audience is actually “in” the film they’re watching.

Matt Goldberg wrote in the online article Streaming Is the Future for 2021, but I’m Not Convinced It’s the Future of Movies, “Netflix, King of the Streamers™, didn’t want a streaming-only future even though their business model relies on subscriptions. And part of the reason for that is that in a streaming-only future, as we’ve seen this year, everything gets reduced down to ‘content’ and it’s hard to make anyone care about one thing over another.”

Goldberg argues that since humans are social creatures, the appeal of seeing new movie releases in a cinema will never wear off. There are many people who enjoy the experience of going to the movies and losing themselves in the action and adventure that a movie can bring. 

In 2021 streaming platforms will continue to release new content, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that theaters are losing their appeal. 

Setto states, “Seeing movies is fun! To be able to sit next to friends and quietly whisper about funny moments or serious plot twists makes the experience all more enjoyable.”