Cord cutting has been dominating cable TV, and legacy media companies have yet to figure out how to turn the millions of Americans who are streaming into revenue.
According to a report from the Financial Times, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, Comcast, and Paramount together have lost more than $5 billion on streaming in 2023.
Comcast reportedly lost the largest amount on its Peacock streaming service, but all the major companies are losing money on their streaming services.
Some companies, like Disney and Paramount, reportedly hope to be profitable in the second half of 2024 or in 2025. Warner Bros. Discovery reportedly hopes to break even on Max soon, but no exact date was given.
But how can all these streaming services succeed? Over the last few years, we have seen media companies launch or relaunch major streaming services, including Peacock, Paramount+, Max, Disney+, and AMC+. Add in the more than 100 streaming services—both paid and free—and you must ask the question of how many can the market sustain?
Already there is talk of a possible merger between Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount that would see Paramount+ and Max merge into a single streaming service. Other, similar deals are possible going forward to help make streaming services profitable.
There have even been talks for years of a possible deal that would see Comcast buy Warner Bros. Discovery or Paramount.
Increasingly, streaming services have felt pressure from investors who want to see a return on the money they invested. How exactly some streaming services will become profitable is unknown at this time.