How have streaming services altered the quality of modern entertainment?

In looking at how film entertainment has evolved over the years, an especially drastic shift can be seen in the boom of streaming services that followed the Covid-19 Pandemic. At first, these services appeared to be a saving grace of comfort and convenience–allowing one the ability to still bring the luxury of a movie theater into their own home, allowing one to catch up on the newest flicks with a subscription and a click. Though as the world now struggles to mesh the “New Normal” with the normal we all used to know, these streaming services show no signs of slowing down. According to CNBC, the U.S. has given up around 3,000 theater screens since 2019–and those that remain are now tasked with finding ways to remain relevant. In short, the public seems reluctant to dive fully back into the old movie magic of the theater. But what have these screens been traded for?

Each streaming service is a world tasked with populating itself full of movies and shows to keep its audience’s attention–but what do these services sacrifice in the process? Have streaming services begun to trade quality for content, pushing titles with big names and no stories just to fill their slots? What has been lost in the experience of seeing a movie for the first time in theaters now that everything can be watched from one’s couch? Are these changes beneficial, or a deficit to the quality of modern entertainment? This article could go in a number of directions–exploring particular movie franchises, or the evolution of certain streaming services overall. This just seems to be a relatively new phenomenon of the last decade, but one that has altered what and how we watch in extremely poignant ways.

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