It seems that everything in the streaming world hinges on brand identity now that all of the bells and whistles that attracted customers at very low (or no) prices are basically gone. With brand identity comes the ability to separate yourself from the pack, and, thus, make some coin—which is the main thing all of these platforms have in common right now: the need to make, or at minimum retain, money. It’s why we’ve watched David Zaslav systematically dismantle the HBO Max roster and back catalog despite the outcry from viewers, for one.
The platforms are now doing whatever they can to keep fresh programming and draw in-slash-maintain viewership. In October, for example, Netflix acquired one of Peacock’s most successful originals, “Girls5Eva,” after Peacock renewed the show for a third season. Both Netflix and Peacock now share co-exclusive global streaming rights to the first two seasons, while the most recent installment will be only available on Netflix. Pretty crazy, isn’t it?
It’s clear that the powers that be are doing a bit of a scramble, trying to pick up the very obvious pieces of the golden days of streaming and find ways to repurpose them before, well, having to throw them in the trash. It would make more sense for these brands to be doubling down on curating their libraries, as that is the biggest “brand identifier” they could hope for—after all, what else do we go to these platforms for in the first place?—but instead, they’ve chosen the path of least resistance: just getting rid of things for the tax write-off. It will be interesting, and of course sad, to see where they go from here.