I am writing this a few days after the Disney Investor Day presentation and the announcement of 10 new Star Wars shows, 10 new Marvel programs, and 15 new Disney live action and animated stories — many of which will premiere on the company’s streaming platform, Disney+.
The bombardment of programming from the House of Mouse comes right on the heels of a Warner Bros. announcement that its entire 2021 slate of feature films will premiere day-and-date with theaters on its streaming service, HBO Max.
This is a staggering turn of events that is occurring as a reaction to the pandemic shuttering theaters as well as these content creation and distribution corporations needing a large influx of viewers to keep their streaming services profitable. And the repercussions are being felt throughout the industry, from theaters fighting for business to the actors having to rethink their backend deals that rely on box office figures to payout.
And, of course, Netflix continues to churn out must-watch shows at an incredible rate, with Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, and Hulu also adding to our watchlists.
The biggest winners in this are consumers, who gain the ability to choose when and where they watch their preferred content, and custom installation pros, who have built, or are building, the perfect home-based spot to watch this flood of highly anticipated programming.
With the major services all offering some content with 4K video and immersive surround formats, consumers have good reason to upgrade. And if the outside world is still months away from a reboot, that is even more reason to invest in a high-performance media room or home theater.
The excitement generated by the upcoming content provides a good reason to reach out to perspective clients to make sure their homes are ready for the onslaught of Jedi, superheroes, and princesses heading their way. After all, if one doesn’t see Baby Yoda in 4K, does one really see Baby Yoda? (And, yes, I know his name is Grogu, but Baby Yoda is far more fun to say.)
Even once theaters re-affirm themselves as the place for blockbuster entertainment (and I firmly believe they will), the cinema-like quality of even the series programming on these platforms is more than reason enough to upgrade the home’s AV. Ultra HD, Dolby Atmos, and no commercials? Pass the popcorn.
Movie theaters can’t be beat for the crowd experience. Were you in a theater that roared with cheers when Captain America picked up Thor’s hammer in Avengers: Endgame? I was, and it was a spectacular moment to be a part of. But I have experienced that same scene in high-end home theater, and was completely immersed in the story. Both experiences have their place, and coexist quite nicely.
As we start off 2021, there is much to look forward to — both in our created preferred spaces and, eventually, with a crowd again.