Netflix forever revolutionized how we watch movies, as it made them accessible from our homes. Still, some wished to preserve the theatrical experience, even at the expense of those who don’t have access to movie theaters. Yes, we’re looking at you, Steven Spielberg! Two years have passed since Spielberg clashed with Netflix over how movies should be delivered, with the audience deciding that streaming services are there to stay. Fast forward to today, and Spielberg’ Amblin Entertainment is partnering up with Netflix. Well, if you can’t beat them, join them, right?
Hell just froze over, as reported by Deadline, because Steven Spielberg and his Amblin Partners struck a multiyear deal with Netflix, which is a massive victory for the streaming giant, as it faces increased competition from wealthy rivals such as Disney and Amazon. And sure, production deals are commonplace in the entertainment industry, but the recently announced deal stands out because of Spielberg’s past criticism of streaming services, and his alleged plans to create rules that would ban streamers from Oscars contention.
Well, that’s thing of the past now, because Steven Spielberg added that he and Amblin are excited to work with Netflix, stressing that the deal isn’t exclusive. Spielberg and Amblin will still continue to work with longtime partners like Universal Pictures. However, neither Netflix nor Universal will have first-look rights at Amblin properties; Spielberg will create some films specifically for Netflix, and others for Universal. The main idea is that Amblin generates several movies per year for Netflix, which developed a voracious appetite for content in an effort to remain competitive with other growing streaming services.
Steven Spielberg’s shift towards streaming is a sign of change within the cinematic industry, and a clear victory of streaming over theatrical releases, which was nudged more by circumstance (as in COVID-19 pandemic), than anything else. In light of this change, and his previous criticism of streaming services, the iconic director stated that storytelling will forever be at the center of everything he and Amblin does and that the new deal with Netflix opens a whole new world of opportunities to tell new stories and reach the audiences in new ways.
Netflix has previously responded to Steven Spielberg’s criticism in a gentlemanly manner, never once calling him by name. However, in light of more joyous event, and this new deal certainly is joyous for Netflix, the company’s Co-CEO and chief content officer called Spielberg a creative visionary, whose storytelling has been enduring, inspiring, and awakening. And truth be told, both parties are synonymous with incredible entertainment. The size of Netflix’s global platform, which has over 200 million members, really speaks for itself, while Spielberg’s passion, artistry, and creative vision combine into an experience that captivates and challenges the audience.
With everything said, certain parts of the new deal between Steven Spielberg, Amblin, and Netflix, like its duration and financial detail surrounding it, remained undisclosed by the parties. The important thing is that the audience gets to enjoy their entertainment in any form of fashion that it finds suitable, whether it’s the big screen, or a small one. With streaming going forward, it’s still highly unlikely for the theaters to reach an endangered species list.