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Cash Rules in the Battle for Eyeballs

In recent months, we have seen a wide variety of streaming majors bring out the big guns in an eort to win over viewers.

­There’s some serious money at play here. Amazon Prime has shelled out $465mn for the first season of ­e Rings of Power. To put that in perspective, Top Gun: Maverick had a production budget of $170mn. And while HBO Max didn’t go as nutty as Amazon, they still bested Maverick with a spend of $200mn for the Game of ­thrones prequel. Netflix and Disney weren’t far behind, with the former sanctioning a spend of $15mn per episode of ­e Sandman, and Disney Plus green-lighting a budget of $25mn per episode for She-Hulk.

But economic headwinds are bleeding these giants even as they seek higher subscriptions and retentions. Netflix is looking at cutting costs, HBO Max laid off 14% of its workforce, while Disney is an outlier for how much they consistently spend on streaming content. How sustainable is that strategy? Only time will tell.

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