Streaming services catch up with cinemas

Popular streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and Disney+ are this year for the first time generating more revenue than cinemas worldwide. Accountancy and consultancy firm PWC expects a 66 percent drop in turnover for the cinemas. At the same time, streaming is expected to grow by an estimated 26 percent.

Just five years ago, the turnover of cinemas worldwide was three times higher than that of streaming services. Since then, the difference has been decreasing every year.

“This was bound to happen one day. What is now striking is that streaming from the media is experiencing the greatest increase. And, of course, cinemas are being hit very hard”, says Casper Scheffer of PWC.


Another trend that is worrying for cinemas is also being reinforced by corona. In most cases, cinemas had a long time to show films exclusively “and if the film attracted a lot of visitors, it would run even longer,” says Scheffer. But that is no longer a matter of course.

Disney recently chose not to bring the film Mulan to the cinemas, but to stream it exclusively on Disney+. There was also fuss last year about the film The Irishman. It was only made available for four weeks, after which a number of cinemas decided to drop out altogether.

“Turning this tide is a necessity for cinemas,” says Scheffer. “They have to make sure its a corona exception”

Slow recovery

According to PWC, it does not look as if cinemas are going to recover quickly. Until 2024, the turnover of cinemas worldwide will remain below the level of 2019.

The growth of streaming services is continuing. Compared to 2019, PWC expects to double to $86.6 billion in 2024.