So, can we stop calling it ‘the streaming wars’ now?

The “streaming struggles” may be more accurate.

It always felt a bit odd referring to the competition between internet TV companies as wars.

5-year stock performance of streaming companies

One, because there are other, actual wars happening in the world. Two, because other industries also compete, but you don’t hear about the “burger brawls” or “coffee conflicts.”

And three, because, well, it’s really not much of a “war” between streamers anymore in the first place, is it?

Netflix is the clear leader

Boosted by its ad-supported tier and password-sharing crackdown, the company’s profitability and subscriber growth are accelerating as its competitors struggle.

Netflix barely even mentioned its alternative growth narrative — gaming — in its latest shareholder letter because why would it?

  • Other streamers — from Disney, to Warner Bros. Discovery, to Paramount, to Comcast — are now just trying to keep up with Netflix, whose stock performance is leaving the rest in the dust.
  • Competing platforms are now raising prices and cutting content — a necessary but questionable growth strategy, if you ask us.

Overseas operations, a large stash of pre-produced content, and non-reliance on linear TV networks have also positioned Netflix to better weather — and perhaps even benefit from, to the tune of $1.5B in production-cost savings — Hollywood’s strikes, which it’s blamed in part for causing.

Good news for moviegoers: The “war” against movie-theater chain AMC’s strategy to charge more for better seats saw very little combat. The company dropped the plan last week.

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