We are currently living in a world of instant gratification. With a click of a button, or a tap on a screen, media consumers are given their desired entertainment within seconds after requesting it.

Online streaming platforms such as Netflix and Hulu put the power back in the hands of the viewer by giving them the ability to watch what they want, when they want to watch it, whether it be a network program, or the streaming platform’s original series.

Back in 2009, when my family first signed up for Netflix, I excitement struck my house when the movie we were all waiting to see finally arrived in the mail.

All of us gathered around the TV and watched whatever movie we had requested and then, a few days later, it would get sent back in the mail.

However, after a year or so, my family canceled the DVD shipment because of the growth of instant online content.

According to the Los Angeles Times, in 2016, DVD sales decreased by seven percent since the previous year and subscriptions to online streaming platforms increases by almost 23 percent.

This data reflects the claim that consumers are no longer interested in ownership, but rather instantaneous access.

With the growing accessibility of online streaming, media consumers are seeing a rise in independent programs, or straight to Netflix series. Some of the most popular television series within the last year have been Netflix’s originals.

At the 2017 Emmys, the only network that won more awards than Netflix (20 awards) was HBO (29 awards).

In comparison, all together, the streaming companies of Netflix, Amazon and Hulu took home 32 awards at the 2016 event.

However, streaming companies’ abilities to produce original content does not reach only as far as television shows.

On Dec. 22, 2017, Netflix released the anticipated film, Bright.

The film starred Will Smith, and Joel Edgerton.

Upon the film’s release, it became one of the website’s most streamed programs ever, although it did receive harsh reviews from critics.

Netflix’s capability of making content instantly available to viewers surprised the public during the 2018 Super Bowl.

When the company aired a preview for an upcoming movie, viewers were shocked to see that the movie, The Cloverfield Paradox, would be immediately released after the game.

The movie’s release came with no previous information that it was even being created.

According to Vanity Fair, a few hours before the Superbowl, the actors had a conference call with the film’s producer J.J. Abrams when he finally informed the cast about the title of the movie, and it’s plan to release after the Superbowl; neither of which the cast had any prior knowledge of.

Abrams explained during a London screening of the movie, the film’s surprise release was, “We thought, what was the most fun way we could surprise people with this. We went and had this totally weird, top-secret, creepy meeting with Netflix, and they were so great. They thought it was an amazing idea. And in six to eight weeks, this went from ‘could we do this’ to ‘this is on, and we just need to shut up about it.’”

With Netflix now having the ability to instantly release movies and or television shows with only a few hours of notice to the public, people are left asking, How could this change the entertainment industry?

If Netflix, Hulu or Amazon can simply release blockbusters straight to their streaming platform, then what’s the point of even leaving the house?

If online streaming continues in this new concept, the money movies make in the box office could be severely affected.

Studios are already struggling to get moviegoers into the theaters, and Netflix’s experiment with the online release of The Coverfield Paradox could put these industries in further jeopardy.

As technology advances, it will be interesting to see how studios handle this change.

Will they team up with streaming companies, or try to fight against them?

Erin McNemar can be contacted at emcnemar@kscequinox.com

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