The Hollywood moguls who run the industry’s dominant streaming services sent out a surprising message in recent weeks: They all intend to slow down spending on exclusive new streaming series and movies.
Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav, Disney’s Bob Chapek, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and Paramount’s Bob Bakish never met in person to discuss how to avoid runaway streaming spending to lure subscribers. They didn’t have to. Studio chief executives used quarterly earnings calls with Wall Street analysts to make their point.
And one by one over 22 days, Hollywood CEOs scaled back on what Morgan Stanley projected will be $140 billion spent this year on streaming programming — after recognizing the limits of streaming subscriber growth, including Netflix’s surprise loss of 200,000 customers last quarter.