The world is already looking very different now compared to how it did half a year ago. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing to look forward to. The entire planet hasn’t stopped functioning just yet and while major sporting events such as the European Championships and the Olympics are being postponed, three new streaming companies still intend to launch according to their original schedule.
The three streaming companies ready to launch are Peacock, the NBCUniversal and Quibi. The first two will be offering free and premium packages. NBCUniversal is working towards a preview launch date of mid-July, although it will probably only be for certain Comcast customers.
This news comes on the back of the announcement that the Tokyo Olympics, which were set to take place this year have been postponed until next year. This was an obvious blow to Peacocks marketing campaign as the company was set to stream 3 days of live programming based around the event. A spokesperson for the company commented,
“Sports, and the Olympics, are just one piece of our broad and differentiated content offering, and we will highlight the wide range of programming available for every consumer in the months to come. That said, we continue to monitor and evaluate the situation as it changes day to day, and will evolve our plans as necessary.”
Before the Peacocks soft launch, we will get Quibi. This will be serving short-form videos on mobile devices. It’s from Jeffrey Katzenberg. Quibi is set to be with us on the 6th April all being well. A spokesperson for the company confirmed this was still the case. In addition to this, the platform has upped its advertising spend over recent weeks. Their presence has been felt strongly on the likes of Instagram and TikTok.
Quibi have seen their efforts to launch or promote their launch affected by coronavirus on several occasion. Most notably when the SXSW festival was cancelled. The platform was set to be there and it was probably going to be their launch event.
Whistle is a company that is also getting in on the act. The production company owned by Michael Cohen primarily are working in post-production and so their projects are close to finishing and will be unaffected by recent events. Cohen commented,
“We’re able to do most of the work in-house or from afar, and we’re not necessarily needing to be in the field right now—which is good, because depending on productions, pretty much everybody is paused on physical production in that Hollywood ecosystem,”
Although the disruptions have yet to affect Quibi dramatically it could well cause some serious problems for streaming companies who are set to launch later this year. For instance, HBO Max which was set to make an appearance in May. Though that it is still on the cards it has had to temporarily shift its Friends reunion. It is a blow for the company, though a spokesperson insisted they will launch and the reunion will just have to follow later.
Of course, this could all change in the blink of an eye. Covid-19 has had a dramatic impact on the industry and it seems like the game is being changed every day, so who can predict how the land will lie in a few months?
A sign of the times is as more people stay at home the better business is for streaming companies. It would appear for now they have an entirely captive audience. As a top analyst for Forrester, Jim Nial pointed out, the postponement of the Olympics could end up being a massive boon for streamers. He wrote,
“The networks have to scramble for programming to fill this void, [and] if all they have is reruns, then more people might turn to streaming. Streaming [services] might be in a better position if they can accelerate production of their originals to launch into the void.”