JANUARY 28, 2021

Over this past year, with the world in flux and businesses and people’s lives being transformed by “Stay at Home” declarations due to the COVID-19 virus, the foreseeable future looks like we will be continuing to work from home remotely. This has created a new type of “water cooler” to sit around and ingest the news of the day. The television has again become the center piece of our content information input. Thankfully due to the rise of streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Studios, and Disney +, television is not only providing us all of the news and information of the day we need but it is also providing new viewers the chance to explore content from documentaries on the Tiger King, to the latest cinema releases now being released on these streaming platforms. Over the last two years, the rise in these streaming services has led to many of the most creative projects now being made for the small screen rather than the movie theater.

Let's look at the big winner of last year’s Academy Awards, Parasite. Most viewers watched Parasite on Amazon Prime Video versus the theater upon release. Then it was brought to Netflix on April 8th, where it was viewed online by millions of more viewers. If we have learned anything over the past year with streaming content it is that it might as well be deemed “essential”.

A recent survey showed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of streaming media services have thrived and, according to a J.D. Power survey, Americans for example now subscribe, on average, to four streaming services, up from three when the pandemic began. That translates to 24 percent more in subscription fees, for an average consumer outlay of $47 per month in December, up from $38 in April. Netflix and Disney+ have surged, and newcomers HBO Max and Peacock have also done well.

We have learned too that viewers want to continue watching characters and plot’s they enjoy, which has freed creators from the bounds of a traditional two-hour movie and how that movie is presented. Streaming shows are now combining multiple genres (comic book styling, animated story transitions, characters singing) with the movie broken into multiple episodes of varying length. Streaming television shows have turned into an 8 to 10-hour long story that can be watched almost continuously as one show.

With entire seasons being released on the same day, binge-watching has already become the norm. Now streaming is a way to relieve stress and escape the reality of the daily news. And all this change has accelerated over the past year with more projects than ever being green lit for these new streaming platforms.

According to J.D. Power’s survey, 81 percent of those recently surveyed on streaming media platform choice, already subscribe to Netflix; Amazon Prime Video came in second at 65 percent, “followed by Hulu at 56 percent, Disney+ at 47 percent, HBO Max at 22 percent, Peacock at 18 percent, and Apple TV+ at 14 percent.” The survey also found that The Mandalorian, captured on Codex, was viewed on Disney+ and “the most-watched TV show on streaming platforms in December 2020.”

What does this mean for production? Well, because of Covid-19 restrictions on set and the need for remote access to view the production, below the line costs are up by 20-25%. How does one offset these costs but maintain the best image quality and capture in a large format like The Mandalorian?

Managing all this data is a challenge but also an opportunity. CODEX has introduced High Density Encoding (HDE) in response, allowing productions to capture the full uncompressed camera data but store it at 50-60% of the original size with no loss in image quality. Despite the increase in data generated at the shoot, the production team and the studio still want to see dailies as soon as possible. Companies like PIX, part of the X2X Media Group, provide secure video collaboration systems for collaborative workflows, so that an executive in Los Angeles can be at their desk and see what was shot that day wherever in the world the production is located. PIX viewers can stream this secure content on their iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or desktop set-up.

Production editorial teams don’t have to spend much time preparing executive dailies – they can focus on the creative tasks rather than the more mundane. It’s very easy with PIX to distribute reels or screeners to the production crew, other content collaborators, and the marketing department as their work progresses. This streamlining of secure content can even begin in pre-production. VFX teams, for example, can share real-time previz materials to the Director for review and then deliver the higher resolution files as their work progresses.

Content collaboration systems such as PIX streamline production and post-production workflows and make it possible for Netflix, Amazon Studios, Disney +, and all of the other streaming services to rapidly ramp up their production slates when production resumes. In the meantime, sit back around the television and be inspired by the amazing content available on these platforms. Hopefully more incredible stories will be inspired and written and the cycle of production and content delivery on these streaming platforms will get back on track with the help of PIX and CODEX.

Learn how PIX and CODEX can help your next project. Call us on +1 (415) 357-9720 or email to set up a demo and learn more!



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