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The streaming wars are over, and it’s time for media to figure out what’s next


Robyn Beck | Afp | Getty ImagesI’m calling it. The Streaming Wars are over. 2019-2023. RIP.The race between the biggest media and entertainment companies to add streaming subscribers, knowing consumers will only pay for a limited number of them, is finished. Sure, the participants are still running. They’re just not trying to win anymore.related investing news 14 hours agoDisney announced its flagship streaming service, Disney+, lost 4 million subscribers during the first three months of the year, dropping the company’s total streaming subscribers to 157.8 million from 161.8 million. Disney lost 4.6 million customers for its streaming service in India, Disney+ Hotstar. In the U.S. and Canada, Disney+ lost 600,000 subscribers.It’s become clear the biggest media and entertainment companies are operating in a world where significant streaming subscriber growth simply isn’t there anymore – and they’re content not to chase it hard. Netflix added 1.75 million subscribers in its first quarter, pushing its global total to 232.5 million. Warner Bros. Discovery added 1.6 million to land at 97.6 million.The current big media narrative is all about getting streaming to profitability. Warner Bros. Discovery announced last week its U.S. direct-to-consumer business turned a profit of $50 million in the quarter and will remain profitable this year. Netflix’s streaming business turned profitable during the pandemic. Disney on Wednesday announced streaming losses narrowed to $659 million from $887 million.Read more: Iger praises rival Universal’s ‘Super Mario Bros. Movie’Netflix has curbed its content spending growth, and Warner Bros. Discovery and Disney have both announced thousands of job eliminations and billions of dollars in content spending cuts in recent months. Disney will “produce lower volumes of content” moving forward, Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy said during Wednesday’s earnings conference call, though Chief Executive Bob Iger noted he didn’t think it would have an impact on global subscriber growth.There’ …

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