Can AMC survive the dominate streaming services?
If you use to be an avid movie goer, then the cinema was your best friend or BFF back in the old glory days. Let’s jog down memory lane. Cinema or movie theater was born on December 28, 1895. It remained one of the most popular entertainment ways until the introduction of streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, and others.
AMC theater was famous among every generation — from Lost Generation to Generation Z — not only for watching movies but as a hang-out for youngsters and families.
However, in the second decade of the 21st century, the downfall of the AMC theater was started as Generation Z , or Zoomers were more attracted towards modern technologies.
The 21st century witnessed many technologies that were once considered ‘cool’ and indispensable becoming obsolete. This century can rightly be called the century of innovation, change, technological obsolescence.
Effects of Demographic Change on Movie Theater
The movie theater was a jaw-dropping innovation for the Lost Generation people when they were invited to the first-ever public movie show on December 28, 1895. It was a new thing for those people. Since that year, the theater has remained an essential part of people’s social life.
After the lapse of almost 125 years, theater cannot enjoy the same popularity as much has been changed during these years. Millennials were the last moviegoers who considered visiting theater a big affair. For generation alpha, streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix are more attractive.
According to a survey study, more than 5.5 million Americans aged 60 or above, visited theaters frequently in 2019. Another survey study conducted same year suggest that more than 50% of Americans don’t visit theater every month.
The younger generations are more devise-obsessed. They are more interested in consuming the latest content than visiting theater to watch repetitions.
High Ticket Pricing
Another major reason that forced the moviegoers not to go for movies is the rapid ticket price hike. In 2011, a movie ticket was sold against an average of $5 in the US, which rose to $10 in 2018. During these years, the cost of visiting the theater doubled, making it difficult for a family of four to afford this. However, the price hike didn’t cast any tangible effect on moviegoers belonging to the age group 12–18 years.
Streaming platforms and movie theater
The introduction of streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, and several others potently challenged the existence of AMC movie theater.
The streaming services changed the preference of moviegoers significantly by providing them with the ease to watch their favorite movie from the comfort of their couches against a nominal cost.
Even the studios and production companies are thinking of making windows shorter by playing their movies only for few weeks in theaters and then hit the Amazon Prime Video or other streaming services. Previously, every new movie was played in theaters at least for 90 days before releasing its DVD or showing it on some TV.
As discussed earlier, the price hike is barring moviegoers from visiting the movie theater, streaming services and offering much more variety in return for few bucks for the subscription.
In the price of a theater ticket, Amazon Prime Video gives its subscribers access to thousands of movies and TV shows. As a result, the streaming business is experiencing a boom with greater sales than traditional movie theaters. At the same time, new releases like Soul by Pixar are skipping theaters for hitting the streaming platforms.
Besides, the streaming services also luring consumers into their platforms by offering their programs that cannot be watched in a movie theater.
Covid-19 and Movie Theater
The outbreak of Covid-19 and the measure adopted globally to contain the virus further weakened the already dying movie theater. A study conducted in June 2020 shows that just 14% of adults in the United States prefer watching a newly released movie in a theater. Contrarily, 36% of American adults like watching the new movie at home via a streaming platform.
In view of the above stats, the movie theater that succeeded to survive even after the advent of television, video cassettes, and DVDs won’t last long as the pandemic has caused it more than 70% loss.
On the other hand, subscribers of Amazon Prime Video increased exponentially during the Covid-19. It had 26 million subscribers from the US alone, which increased by more than 10% amid the coronavirus.
Final thought: Movie Theater can regain its former glory
It is a fact that older people are more prone to succumb to the Covid-19 than youngsters, who have a strong immunity to survive the pandemic. The same is the case with cinema and streaming platforms; the former is too old to fight the battle against the pandemic while the latter is young enough to survive and prevail.
Nevertheless, the shift in the moviegoer’s behavior can be temporary. People were avoiding movie theaters amid the pandemic to stay safe and uninfected. So, it can be hoped that when the world normalizes after defeating the coronavirus, theater can return to its past glory in the post-covid-19 world.
After all, the virtual world that streaming platforms provide cannot offer the love and joy found in the real world provided by the movie theater.
What would be your preference after the end of Covid-19; movie theater, Amazon Prime Video, or some other streaming platform