There are some intriguing and exciting happenings and TV trends to watch for in the TV landscape in 2018. One of these is a Hollywood uprising against internet TV giants Amazon, Hulu and Netflix.
While these two juggernauts are bidding up prices and snatching up talent for original TV series and movies, making themselves into prolifically productive studios the likes of which Hollywood has never been, imperial Hollywood is striking back. Enter Disney.
$52.4 billion is what Disney spent to acquire 21st Century Fox. The huge entertainment company has made it clear that once its current contract with Netflix expires, it won’t be renewing it, and it’s then packing up its toys and going home. Netflix is going to need to find a way to replace that lost quality content. Then it’s going to have to change its marketing scheme to promote that new content. Meanwhile, Disney is the veteran marketing and movie god. This is the place that now owns the Star Wars franchise, after all. Even Jeff Bezos has to be nervous.
$4.5 billion was the video production budget for Amazon and Jeff Bezos in 2017, and the company has indicated that it plans to increase that for 2018. This is happening the midst of a shake-up at Amazon Studios further to allegations of sexual harassment. Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky stated in autumn 2017, “we’re going to continue to invest in video and increase that investment in 2018.” Case in point: Amazon’s $1bn payout for the right to create a Lord of the Rings series…
Netflix is increasing its TV studio budget (into the $6 billion to $8 billion range), and plans to release new original movies and series at a torrid place — an average of one to two every week! — in 2018. It would seem that FX Networks‘ John Landgraf’s now-infamous ‘Peak TV’ warning is merely an invitation to strategise, in the mind of Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos.
$2.5 billion is getting spent on TV production this year by Hulu. Remember those guys over at that place? Hulu is reportedly going to launch seven new original TV series in 2018. The quality of Hulu’s offerings is increasing, as evidenced by its numerous Emmy nominations for its studio production of the dystopian sci-fi novel The Handmaid’s Tale (top photo). Hulu doesn’t need to have a budget as big as Netflix or Amazon, because it focuses exclusively on the US.
Apple has committed to spending $1 billion on original TV programming (through a re-imagining and rebranding of Apple Music) and hired some Hollywood talent to help with that in 2018. The company has also talked of increasing that budget to over $4 billion by 2022. About a year ago, CEO Tim Cook said: “We have put our toe in the water with doing some original content for Apple Music. We’re learning a lot about the original content business and thinking about ways that we could play at that.”
Netflix. Amazon. Disney Studios. Hulu. Apple. You want great TV in 2018 and beyond? Here it comes.
Image: © Facebook The Handmaids’ Tale – Hulu