Netflix and Amazon: Are They Pushing Traditional TV to the Brink?

All copyrighted images used with permission of the respective copyright holders.

Netflix and Amazon Fuel a Resurgence in TV Production, While Other Studios Remain Cautious

Despite the entertainment industry’s recovery from last year’s strikes, the momentum for new productions remains sluggish. While the industry grapples with the aftermath of the strikes, the global market for ordering new TV shows is finally showing signs of life, with Netflix and Amazon leading the charge. These two tech giants are driving a surge in commissioning new scripted television series, both domestically and internationally, while many of their competitors take a more cautious approach.

Key Takeaways:

  • Netflix and Amazon are leading the resurgence in TV production, accounting for 53% of scripted series orders in the first three months of 2024. This dominance is fueled by their strong financial positions and aggressive international expansion strategies.
  • The increased activity is particularly evident in international markets. Netflix has been active in Britain, Germany, Spain, and South Korea, while Amazon has been investing heavily in India.
  • While the domestic market is also experiencing an uptick, it remains significantly lower than its peak. This suggests a cautious approach among many studios, likely due to ongoing financial pressures within the streaming industry.
  • The number of television series submitted for Emmy Awards nominations has dramatically fallen this year, indicating a continued slowdown in production compared to pre-strike levels.
  • Industry analysts predict a potential shift in the upcoming months, with other studios likely to increase their production budgets. However, the industry remains cautious about a quick return to the "Peak TV" era of the past decade.

Netflix and Amazon’s Financial Strength

Netflix and Amazon’s dominance in TV production can be attributed to their strong financial positions. Netflix, having earned over $5 billion in profit last year, has seen its share price soar. Amazon, whose first-quarter earnings exceeded Wall Street’s expectations, has also experienced a significant increase in its share price. This financial strength allows them to invest heavily in content development, even as their competitors cut costs in a bid to achieve profitability.

A Cautious Approach from Other Studios

In contrast to Netflix and Amazon’s aggressive approach, many other major media companies remain cautious. In recent years, they have been grappling with the financial realities of the streaming market, implementing cost-cutting measures to achieve profitability. While companies like Comcast and Paramount have also begun to increase their domestic production orders, the overall level remains significantly lower than in the past.

The Legacy of "Peak TV"

The current slowdown in television production follows a period of unprecedented growth known as "Peak TV". Between 2010 and 2022, the number of scripted series premiering in the United States tripled, fueled by the rise of streaming services and their aggressive acquisition strategies. However, this era of unbridled investment eventually led to concerns about financial sustainability, prompting a shift in strategy.

The Impact of the Strikes

The 2023 strikes by actors and writers further exacerbated the slowdown in production. These strikes, which lasted for months, brought Hollywood to a standstill, delaying numerous productions and contributing to the decline in new projects. While the strikes have been resolved, their impact continues to be felt, creating a sense of uncertainty in the industry.

A Future of Uncertainty

Despite the current resurgence driven by Netflix and Amazon, it remains uncertain whether other studios will follow suit and increase their investment in new content. The speed and extent of this recovery may depend on several factors, including the continued success of streaming services, consumer demand, and the industry’s ability to navigate the complex financial realities of the post-strike landscape.

Union Officials Advocate for Patience

Amidst this period of uncertainty, union officials are urging entertainment workers to remain patient. They emphasize that while the current environment may appear challenging, there will still be a need for new content in the future. As Greg Iwinski, a television writer, recently stated, “There have to be television shows in 2026. They have to exist.”


The recovery of the television industry is a complex and ongoing process. While the dominance of Netflix and Amazon offers hope for a resurgence in production, the cautious approach of other players suggests that a full return to the pre-strike levels may take time. Ultimately, the industry’s future will depend on its ability to adapt to the evolving landscape of streaming and content consumption.

Article Reference

William Edwards
William Edwards
William Edwards is a business journalist with a keen understanding of market trends and economic factors. His articles cover a wide range of business topics, from startups to global markets. William's in-depth analysis and clear writing provide valuable insights for business professionals.