Merger rumours Paramount and Peacock

Merger rumours prove streaming is still evolving rapidly

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Merger rumours concerning Paramount+ and Peacock demonstrate a market still in flux

We’ve reported before on the ever-evolving market for streaming. Over the past two years the stories have been about how companies cope with the vast costs associated with market entry. More established brands (eg Disney) have spend big (Star Wars and Marvel), produced a lot of content and now find themselves reprioritising their portfolios. Paramount (and more on them later) built a wall around as much of Star Trek as it could, and they too are trimming their titles. We’ve covered the move of Star Trek: Prodigy to Netflix, and this is one of many examples of the perils of producing content in a fluid market.

What about the audience?

Streaming (see early Netflix philosophy) may have been envisioned as a simple trade of subscription for an advertising free experience of bingeable shows. Cue the post-pandemic world, and Netflix has led the way in a volte face with even Amazon dropping (and upsetting a lot of people) adverts into your subscription regardless. What we really want (and we accept there are costs), is good content, preferably not cancelled early, and not having to face the prospect of multiple subscriptions all hiking prices every year. One way we can get this (there are others) is by mergers. Cue the latest rumours.

What is the latest merger rumour regarding Paramount+ and Peacock?

Thanks to Film Stories, we learn Paramount + and Peacock | Streaming services rumoured to be mergingIt seems there’s a magic number of 100 million subscribers (enter Netflix, Disney and Prime Video) they are a long way from reaching. Their individual numbers are 63 million and 30 million. It’s a simple idea to get to grips with, but ignores minor things like market saturation, legacy costs [what else does their business do that might need to be culled or reinvented?]. That said, they’ve done it before, with joint marketing under the banner of UIP (United International Pictures).

Midwich Cuckoos
The Midwich Cuckoos

From a UK point of view, it’s all mixed up with Sky. They, like Peacock, are a Comcast company and the success of Sky in Europe has left it holding the rights to a lot of shows we’d like to see more accessible to audiences. The list is long (The Midwich Cuckoos as an example), and deals such as the one mentioned don’t look to us like solving that problem for a UK viewer.

Will the merger happen? If not, then perhaps another joint venture. We remain certain this is one of many changes the market will see over the next few years, and as ever we’ll keep you posted.