Does a slowdown in new streaming series signal the end of peak streaming?

4 September, 2023

So far this year, there has been a slowdown in the number of new streaming original series that have premiered. This follows a recent high point in Q4 2022 that saw the fastest pace of output quarter on quarter in the past three years. In Q4 2022, there was an 11% growth in the number of streaming original titles driven by a record number of new streaming original series premiering that quarter. Since that high point, the pace of output has slowed for two consecutive quarters. 

This breaks the years-long trend following the disruptions of the early pandemic that saw content production grind to a halt. From the beginning of 2021, the growth rate of new series premieres has continued to accelerate, only slowing for at most a single quarter at a time - until now.


Over the past few years, the rapid proliferation of streaming platforms around the world has been accompanied by a boom in the number of shows available to audiences. By Q2 2022, the number of streaming original series was more than double the total number of streaming original series that had premiered prior to 2020. However, the current economic climate has shifted the priorities of streamers away from growing subscribers at all costs and toward more financially sustainable goals. A focus on more targeted content investments instead of rapidly expanding output could partially explain the slowdown in new shows.

It is also important to note the timeline of the ongoing strikes impacting Hollywood to give context to this shift. The WGA strike began in May and SAG-AFTRA went on strike in July. While this dual work stoppage coincides with the slowdown in content we measured, it is highly unlikely to have directly caused it as the impacts of the strike have yet to be felt on the output of new content. Streamers may be making a conscious decision to delay releasing new content now to smooth over any future disruptions caused by the strikes. If the effects of the strikes on the content pipeline have yet to play out, this could just be the start in the slowdown of the streaming era’s boom years.

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