What are our thoughts on this?
The streaming wars will officially begin this winter – with both Disney and Apple launching services and Warner’s HBO Max waiting in the wings. In turn, pretty much all studios will abandon licencing deals with established streaming services and launch their own platforms.
The industry is in flux and almost certainly will look entirely different in 5 years’ times. We have already seen streaming services invading the art-houses, with Netflix now a legitimate Oscar player – something Netflix was derided for even attempting in 2015. So surely, next the streamers will come for franchise films? Disney is certainly using this model with a deluge of Star Wars and Marvel shows due to launch.
So where does this leave Bond? Well, Bond is pretty much the only nomadic franchise. Aside from MGM’s minor stake in the company, the series flits between studios with ease.
Can we envision Bond heading to a streaming service? It’s a series that seems custom built for streaming services - which are designed to engage and saturate audiences with content. If you get a stake in 007, you also get a stake in the (soon to be) 25 other films in the series. That is a helluva lot of content which spans almost 60 years. Quite the feat, not only in terms of building up IP but also influencing cinematic history.
I think there is a very good chance that Bond will be one of the first major franchises to ‘jump ship’ and head to a streaming giant. I think the most logical seems to be Apple. It’s not so crazy to contemplate, they were after all in the bidding race for NTTD – which feels like a lifetime ago but was actually only two years ago:
Plus, the Apple brand values sync nicely with Bond. They are a premium tech company who produce ‘state of the act’ products. It’s a far more comfortable piece of brand synergy than say Disney and there vulgar tendency to merchandise and theme-parkise their IP for the dumb masses.
The other attractive thing is that Apple have committed to theatrical windows for their films and, Lord knows, they have the disposal cash to finance and distribute behind a tentpole film such as Bond.
There has even been recent rumours that MGM is thinking of selling up to Apple:
Personally, I hope it happens. If Bond goes to streaming it changes the goalposts and we could see the entire dynamic of these films change for the better.
So……….will we see Bond jump to streaming? Or will Eon (ever the traditionalists) stick to their model?