In today’s fast-paced world, our streaming industry is offering an endless array of content to keep consumers engaged and entertained. However, this relentless pursuit of new material has led to the proliferation of disposable content, much like the fast fashion industry.
This article explores the growing challenge of “single-watch” content, the importance of content sustainability, and how it impacts a consistent audience base - paving the way for improved monetisation strategies.
The Rise of Disposable Content
In recent years, the streaming industry has begun to focus on producing new content at an unprecedented rate, which has led to a decline in production budgets and consequently lower salaries for writers and actors. The victims of this problem are currently taking to the streets in the USA. Screenwriters and actors are fighting back against the increasing cheapness and unfairness of mass production. As more and more shows and movies are produced, production budgets are dropping and so are the salaries in these two creative fields.
The abundant influx of shows and movies flooding the market often results in short-lived “watch once” content that may not get the exposure it was intended for. This trend mirrors the fast fashion industry, where quantity often takes precedence over quality, potentially compromising the artistic value of the content. In the race to “produce and consume” more, the industry should recognise the negative impact of disposable content.
Embracing Secondary Use and Forgotten Treasures
Sustainability in the streaming industry goes beyond environmental concerns to include the longevity and enduring value of content. Implementing reusable content is an important element in promoting content sustainability. Just as items such as children’s clothing or furniture can be repurposed, content that may not gain a foothold on mainstream platforms can find a second life elsewhere. The idea is to provide a stage for classic and indie productions as well that possess timeless storytelling and creative brilliance.
A critical mission of the streaming industry is to revive the forgotten treasures of film and television. These works may not necessarily be presented in ultra-high definition or have the latest special effects, but they demonstrate the intrinsic value of authentic storytelling and artistic expression and cater to viewers with different interests and preferences.
Adapting to Evolving Dynamics
For years, syndication has served as a proven model for distributing content across platforms. This approach allowed content to find new life and new audiences, extending the value of timeless classics. However, the landscape has changed significantly over the past half-decade as media companies have turned to creating their own streaming services to capture a piece of the streaming pie.
While this shift has been driven by the desire to succeed in the streaming world, it has also resulted in some notable changes. In particular, as streaming platforms have become more dominant, the once-stable syndication model has faced challenges that have impacted the income streams of content creators, especially writers and actors.
Empowering Creators and Consumers
A sustainable approach to content benefits both creators and consumers. Encouraging creators to produce enduring and thought-provoking material fosters a creative environment where artistic vision takes precedence over short-term gain. However, this is only possible if the issue of fair compensation is addressed and the requirements are met.
For consumers, embracing sustainability means having access to a curated library of various content that transcends passing trends. By supporting content that has lasting appeal, viewers can engage with narratives that transcend short-lived fads and provide a more fulfilling and meaningful viewing experience. But consumers also face challenges, especially in times of economic uncertainty. The recent recession has highlighted the pain points of customers who are forced to cut costs by cancelling some of their many subscriptions.
Enhancing Monetisation Through Content Sustainability
As romantic as this sounds, we’ve now reached the part that really makes us want to focus on making content last. Content sustainability also has a profound impact on monetisation strategies. Rather than relying solely on attracting viewers with the promise of the latest trendy series, consistent usage of streaming services can be achieved by offering timeless content.
If viewers come across content they enjoy, they will not only generate longer viewing time but will also return, and these two aspects are key to sustainable revenue generation. These engaged viewers are also the best brand ambassadors a streaming service can get. Their loyalty can be seen as a testament to the quality and appeal of the content, which is pivotal for sustainable growth and revenue.
This approach not only reduces churn, but also attracts a broader audience. Viewers seeking content that stands the test of time are more likely to become loyal consumers, resulting in increased revenue for streaming platforms. By cultivating a library of content with lasting appeal, services can establish themselves as reliable sources of entertainment and build a sustainable business model.
As stakeholders in the streaming industry, it’s vital to address the issue of disposable content and its impact on creators, including fair compensation for writers and actors. Valuing timeless classics while supporting independent creators enriches the entertainment landscape and ensures the essence of storytelling endures. Let’s reshape the industry, prioritise enduring creativity, and build a stronger foundation for the future of streaming-ultimately driving higher revenues by retaining engaged audiences with sustainable, quality content.