Ex-technologist, now a filmmaker and mostly a visual artist.
Netflix has 200mil subscribers overall, and about half of them are in the US. So it's normal that it fills up the list easier. On top of that, they flood their service with 400+ Originals per year, more than any other service -- regardless of quality. The more interesting and revealing thing is that only 2 out of the 9 Netflix shows in the list are actually Netflix Originals. Everything else is either reruns, or bought-off from other networks, or licensed as "original" (but not produced).
When The Mandalorian returns next week, I expect that show to top anything that Netflix offers, and by a huge margin. And when Disney+ gets more shows (their first year they only had 3 real originals: Mandalorian, Hamilton, Artemis Fowl), then Netflix won't be performing the same way anymore. Because Netflix has nothing of note to actually offer. No franchises, and except of 2-3 efforts, no visionary content. Just pedestrian. Which is why I unsubscribed from them 2 months ago, after being with the service since their DVD days, in the mid-2000s.
Hmm, in my opinion, it's to decide: if what you need to learn is highly technical (e.g. VFX, cinematography etc), then you should go to school. If what you need to learn is more artistic, or learning the ropes of the job on the field, then it's better to learn while working. I'd say that most directors don't need to go to schools if they have enough personal experience with music videos, short films, some writing etc. All they need is a showreel, some existing personal work on their belt, and some good contacts. Maybe even start low, as assistant director, and then move up from there overtime.
I hold the exact same opinion for traditional art too (which is my main job). If someone wants to learn some very specific technique (e.g. photorealistic painting) or they want to get contacts to become a big name in the "high art" gallery scene, they should go to art school. If they are happy with how they learn by themselves and they want to make money "now", opening an IG account and amassing thousands of followers that leads to direct sales, then they should skip school and dive into the business of it. I chose the second route for my artworks, and I'm doing financially better than most "high art" artists. My technique is not the best, but that doesn't matter much for the kind of folk illustrations I do. The idea matters more than the technique in these kinds of artworks.
So each to its own.
That looks like a good idea on paper, but after looking at their valuations, it's unlikely there's a marriage to be had. You see, Sony only makes about $300mil profit per year, which is not enough to buy Netflix that's evaluated at $220bn. Netflix turned positive cash flow this year for the first time for $600mil, and that's not enough to buy Sony Pictures either, since it's valued at $9bn.
There could be a merger instead, but why would Netflix want to do this, apart from getting access to the Sony franchises (the only thing Netflix doesn't have and hurts them: franchises) and studio space. You see, while Netflix is in big debt ($26bn), they have assets of $34bn. What this means (since Netflix hasn't bought many companies) is that they put their shows as collateral. So if a show performs well (e.g. Stranger Things), they will pay that debt back, to keep the IP. But if a show doesn't do well (as most of their shows don't do well), they could decide not to pay the debt, and the lenders will own the IP. This is big risk for lenders, but not big risk for Netflix. You see, if a title doesn't perform, or it's old, Netflix wouldn't care much about losing it anyway. Basically, Netflix has found a very smart way to make billions of dollars worth of shows per year, almost for free...
Another company that would definitely want to buy Sony Pictures, and they have the money, is Disney. This way, they can get back their Spiderman. But I don't think they can pull the wool once more in front of the various commissions eyes to approve yet another big purchase. There are monopoly questions arising after that for Disney, you see, and they might not want that.
Another company that could be interested, is Apple. IF they want to delve more into such IP/franchises, and getting studio space with it.
And yet another, is Verizon. Verizon can justify the purchase because that would position them as media competition against AT&T (that owns Warner/HBO). On top of that, Verizon is the biggest bit provider in the US, and they could create a front-end app for a Verizon-Sony Media streaming app in mere months. The bandwidth and infrastructure would come for free to them.
And then again, Sony could decide to not sell, and write their own app instead. The problem with that is that they're late to the game, and so customer acquisition will be very expensive to them now.
I ran some numbers a few weeks ago, and the result was that the market can support only up to 6 paying subscriptions (eg. Disney+, Netflix, HBOMax, Paramount+, AppleTV+, Hulu), 5-6 major free ad-based ones (eg. TubiTV, Peacock, Crackle, RokuTV etc), and about 7-8 smaller free ad-based services (e.g. Vudu, Pluto, IMDbTV, Canopy etc). Quibi didn't fit at all into that model.
I believe that we're heading towards major consolidation in the next 4 years. For example, Hulu might not survive as Disney+ adds adult Fox shows as rumored (Disney is the major stakeholder in Hulu and owns 20th Century Fox), while things like Showtime, Epix, Shudder and StarZ will have to merge with their parent companies' streaming services (or sell out) to provide more content richness in order to survive.
As for Netflix, it bleeds money left and right by going for quantity over quality. At least 50% of the shows it provides (over 1300 originals so far), are not watched by viewers. Too much clutter. It makes sense to create a secondary Netflix app (or part of the main app), called Netflix Free or something, and provide that bottom 50% of shows free with ads. At least this way they could recoup some of their costs.
For me, these things are evident and to be expected. The only big unknown is Sony Pictures. They are the only big studio that doesn't own a streaming service. They even sold Crackle, that they owned for years, because their CEO didn't want to follow a streaming strategy back in 2018. But now with the theaters are faltering, let's see how they will survive.
I think that these disclaimers might be needed for this coming generation (because it directly connects to the generation that these artworks were made for, so clashes could be had), but not the one thereafter. Society evolves, and by then, it should be automatically understood that culture & arts of a bygone era are often outdated, or simply, different.
I was watching Goodmorning Vietnam the other day, and I couldn't stop thinking that when I was a kid in the late '80s I found the film super funny, but now I can see how some of Williams' jokes can be seen as racist. So for the current new generation, a disclaimer might be needed. But for the one after that, it won't be needed anymore, because it will be seen as "historical", rather than "contemporary".
(I removed the comment, I posted on the wrong article, sorry :o).