The State of Streaming in 2022: Netflix’s Decline, HBO Max’s Future, and Extra!

September 25, 2022

IGN’s State of Streaming is again for our 4th annual check-in with all issues streaming. Make sure you try our Livestream kickoff occasion within the video above. We now have unique interviews, clips, and insights from the folks behind a few of your favourite streaming reveals. Justin Roiland talks about working with Hulu on Photo voltaic Opposites and all of his latest reveals. Home of the Dragon composer Ramin Djawadi weighs in on HBO Max and a profession filled with streaming and gaming music, and a lot extra!

As IGN’s State of Streaming 2022 involves an in depth, it is time to look again on this loopy yr on the earth of leisure the place the newly-formed conglomerate Warner Bros. Discovery canceled Batgirl, Netflix misplaced virtually a million subscribers, and two epic fantasy collection with large budgets are airing on the similar time!

It is each enjoyable and complicated to be a shopper of in style tradition in 2022, however what does all this imply for the way forward for the trade, and can these shakeups within the streaming panorama put a damper in your leisure consumption? Additionally, learn on to search out out the place every of the most important streaming platforms ranks on our checklist.

Is Netflix’s Reign as Streaming King Coming to an Finish?

*Subscriber numbers rounded to complete numbers

Based mostly on the sheer quantity of subscribers proven within the chart above, Netlflix remains to be profitable the streaming wars. Nevertheless, the streaming large’s 220.67 million customers do not inform the complete story, particularly with its lack of shut to at least one million subscribers in Q2 of this yr. As compared, Disney+ gained 7.9 million subscribers within the first three months of 2022 to shut the hole with its 152.1 million customers. So, is Netflix’s heyday actually at an finish? We spoke to CNBC Tech Reporter, Alex Sherman, to be taught extra.

Netflix truly could also be approaching a ceiling on development right here, or perhaps they’ve already peaked.


“Netflix’s traders have given up on this notion that the extra money Netflix spends, the extra world subscribers will come as a result of we’re not seeing that anymore,” Sherman defined. “Netflix could blame pandemic shutdowns for lack of nice content material, however I do not suppose that traders consider that is the complete story. I believe what they suppose is, Netflix used to say, there might be as much as 800 million whole addressable markets for world streaming subscribers. I believe the overall thought is, that quantity’s in all probability method much less on that. And if that quantity is method much less, then Netflix truly could also be approaching a ceiling on development right here, or perhaps they’ve already peaked.”

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Sherman’s point out of “ceiling” and “peaked” is essential to higher understanding what’s occurring at Netflix and what might finally occur to Disney+ and HBO Max as nicely. FX Boss John Landgraf, who’s famend for his “TV State of the Union” lectures in the course of the Tv Critics Affiliation press tour, echoed Sherman’s sentiments.

“2022 would be the excessive watermark — in different phrases, it is going to mark the height of the ‘Peak TV’ period,” Landgraf stated. Whereas not referring to at least one streaming service individually, Landgraf is highlighting the very fact there have been 559 unique scripted collection in 2021 (a 5% improve from 2020), with much more reveals on the way in which in 2022. It is necessary (and apparent) to notice that neither Landgraf nor I can see into the longer term. Nevertheless, it does appear to be large exponential development within the streaming market, like Netflix’s spectacular 10 million subscriber bounce in early 2020, is probably going at an finish. There’s merely an excessive amount of TV for everybody to observe… Or is there?

Warner Bros. Discovery’s Seek for Feige and HBO Max’s Future

After the turmoil surrounding Warner Bros. Discovery’s shelving of its upcoming Batgirl movie, stories began circulating that the studio had its sights on producer Dan Lin (The Lego Film, Godzilla: King of Monsters) to be the brand new firm’s DC Chief. Whereas taking the reigns of the DC Universe with a legion of superheroes at your disposal, together with Batman and Superman could appear attractive. Even with a profitable deal on the desk, some jobs aren’t definitely worth the baggage.

“I believe he was going to receives a commission fairly nicely,” CNBC’s Alex Sherman informed IGN. “However, in Dan’s case, he had a complete unbiased studio he owned and ran. So, I believe in his thoughts, this chance needed to be so good at each single stage for him to surrender one thing he already actually favored. That is rather a lot completely different than an government who was, say, fired or laid off, and is only a free agent on the lookout for a brand new job. That particular person in all probability would bounce on the provide rather a lot faster than somebody who was already entrenched at doing their very own factor.”

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As Warner Bros. Discovery’s search begins anew for its Feige equal, and with the way forward for the DC Universe up within the air and not using a regular hand to information the ship, it is comforting to know that HBO, and its streaming platform HBO Max, is in good fingers.

Whereas not as provocative because the Batgirl information, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav additionally renewed present HBO Artistic Chief Officer, Casey Bloys, to a brand new five-year take care of HBO and HBO Max. If Bloys’ title would not ring a bell, here is why you’ll be able to (in all probability) relaxation assured that the Emmy juggernaut’s high quality is not going to decrease any time quickly. Since changing into HBO programming chief in 2016, Bloys has overseen the event of Sport of Thrones, True Detective, Succession, and Home of the Dragon.

Will there be extra billion-dollar reveals like The Rings of Energy?

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With the launch of Amazon Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Energy, we at the moment are in a position to stream the costliest TV present ever made. It is beautiful, and fairly rattling entertaining in addition. However does spending a reported $750 million to $1 billion for one season of TV enhance your probabilities of profitable the Streaming Wars? And the way lengthy will large spending sprees proceed? Whereas Netflix’s The Crown could look meager in comparison with Disney+ and HBO Max’s budgets on the chart above, Netflix nonetheless plans on shoveling out a powerful $17 billion per yr on content material.

If HBO Max will get a sizeable bump from Home of the Dragon, that can pay for Home of the Dragon


“I believe the reply to that can rely on what we see when it comes to subscriber development the following yr,” Alex Sherman explains, relating to cash spent versus subscriber development. “If HBO Max will get a sizeable bump from Home of the Dragon, that can pay for Home of the Dragon. And so what I believe we might see is, you’d nonetheless have the identical rush in the direction of tent pole franchises, that are going to value a ton of cash, that may be morphed into each films and TV collection. The place you will see the associated fee spending financial savings is within the center class. A variety of these B-tier TV collection and films will not get an opportunity, however I nonetheless suppose you’d see an arms race amongst HBO, Apple, Amazon, and Netflix for the A-plus collection, as a result of these could usher in a big subscriber viewers.”

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It is necessary to keep in mind that studios like Warner Bros. Discovery, Peacock, and Netflix are extra depending on the success of their respective platforms in comparison with Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video. The latter two streamers have countless quantities of income to fall again on if the Streaming Wars do not work out for them. For instance, Apple is essentially the most useful firm on the earth at $2.4 trillion, with Amazon just a few spots beneath at $1.15 trillion. While you’re price trillions of {dollars}, what is the massive deal about spending $1 billion for a single season of TV? However Amazon and Apple aren’t silly (we predict), and can doubtless keep away from throwing cash away aimlessly.

Which streaming platform is the most effective, in keeping with IGN?

We reviewed a lot of the main streaming platforms to see how every of them stacked as much as the competitors in 2022. As you’ll be able to see within the chart above, Netflix remains to be King of the Streaming Wars, not solely within the whole variety of subscribers it has, but in addition as a result of its sturdy library of unique content material and best-in-class consumer interface that’s modern and simple to navigate. Yow will discover hyperlinks to all of our streaming service critiques beneath:

One of the vital fascinating features of re-reviewing all of those streamers is to find simply how a lot they’ve matured. My private “Most Improved Streamer” award goes to Apple TV+. Initially, I known as Apple’s enterprise into the world of streaming “mediocre,” with a rating of 5.5/10. In 2022, nonetheless, Apple has among the best platforms round with heartwarming collection like Ted Lasso and mind-bending dramas like Severance. Of all our streaming service critiques in 2022, Apple made the largest leap when it comes to its rating.

In the long run, you actually cannot make a foul alternative by subscribing to any of the most important platforms. Every has its personal execs and cons, however with unbelievable reveals on Netlfix like Stranger Issues and The Sandman to HBO Max’s Home of the Dragon and Succession to Prime Video’s The Boys and Reacher to Hulu’s The Bear and The Previous Man, there’s an virtually countless quantity of leisure to devour. So sit again, and benefit from the binge!