Jurassic Park, Fast & Furious, and other franchises owned by Universal Studios could become exclusive to one streaming service since the company’s considering pulling all its movies from its competitors.
In a story covered by Bloomberg, Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal wants to boost its own streaming service, Peacock, by making its popular titles Peacock-exclusive only. As a part of that strategy, franchises like Jurassic Park and Fast & Furious would no longer be available to HBO Max and Netflix subscribers. However, NBCUniversal’s executives are still considering the idea, among others, and no final decision has been made at the time of writing.
Third-party deals, like the ones with HBO Max and Netflix, generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually for NBCUniversal. However, licensing some of its most popular titles to competitors doesn’t seem like a good business strategy and ends up losing NBCUniversal a potentially hefty sum. To boost Peacock’s earnings and eliminate some of its losses, the media conglomerate might decide to pull the plug on licensing its media to competition.
Comcast’s streaming service celebrates its first birthday in less than two weeks, on April 15, 2021, with its 33 million subscribers, opposing HBO’s approximate numbers of 120 million subscriptions and Netflix’s 203 million. Apart from making Jurassic Park and Fast & Furious Peacock exclusives, Comcast is still to invest in some original programming if it’s ever to achieve its rivals’ subscription numbers.
Other companies, like Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros., already made their original titles exclusive to their proprietary streaming services. Disney declined contract renewals with Netflix last year, keeping its massive lineup of titles for its own streaming service Disney+, while Warner Bros. made their releases available on HBO Max. Both companies even shortened the delay between titles’ theatrical debuts and their at-home availability, significantly increasing the companies’ revenues. Is it NBCUniveral’s turn to do the same with Jurassic Park and Fast & Furious?
On the one hand, pulling a franchise as big as Jurassic Park and Fast & Furious from HBO Max and Netflix would deal a blow to both streaming services, seeing how they rely on Hollywood movies to attract subscribers. However, both companies heavily invested in the original titles, protecting themselves from the loss of licensed content. Netflix even earned the most Oscar nominations of any studio.
On the other hand, pulling Jurassic Park and Fast & Furious and making them Peacock-exclusives could attract the franchises’ fandom into purchasing Peacock subscriptions, significantly boosting the service’s revenues. The ongoing pandemic made quick work of theaters, prompting studios to invest more into streaming services – a new form of TV entertainment that’s apparently here to stay. Consumers are now, more than ever, purchasing subscriptions to watch movies and shows from the comfort and safety of their homes.
This shift towards streaming services has made the licensing of original titles into a competitive battleground for streaming services. Many companies have already pulled their motion pictures from other cable outlets, making them into service exclusives. Maybe you’ll have to subscribe to Peacock to watch the next Jurassic Park or Despicable Me movie, who knows?