The so-called golden age of streaming, marked by a large number of new series and investment, may be over as streaming platforms seem to be settling into a more sustainable equilibrium for the new year.
In the second half of 2022, television networks and streaming companies ordered 24 percent fewer adult scripted shows compared to the same period last year, and 40 percent fewer than in 2019, according to Ampere Analysis, a research firm. Since it takes months for a show to premiere after a network orders it, viewers won’t have as many new series to choose from in 2023 than they did in previous years.
Steaming services are also investing more in live entertainment for 2023. YouTube TV won a multi-year agreement with the NFL to exclusively stream the Sunday Ticket, which includes all regular-season Sunday afternoon games. DirecTV held these rights for the past 8 years. YouTube’s deal begins during the 2023 season.
In the 2022 year, consumers were also confronted with price increases from many streaming services. Apple TV+ charged more, as did Disney+, Netflix and Hulu for its live TV bundle. Disney+ and Netflix releases ad-supported plans, copying the traditional television model of advertising plus subscriptions that streaming platforms sought to replace.
Here are the changes consumers can expect from the major streaming services in 2023.
Beginning early in 2023, Netflix will charge an additional fee for users who share passwords. The company tested the fee at $2.99 but has not yet announced the official price. It plans to enforce the password sharing fee by tracking IP addresses, device IDs and account activity. Netflix will also enter the live streaming business, with Chris Rock’s comedy special as its first live show premiering in early 2023.
Netflix might expand its genre and language offerings in the future, Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s co-CEO, said in an October earnings call. The company also emphasized its interest in developing games. The service has 35 games available on mobile, and it is developing 55 more which will release over the next few years.
Many of Netflix’s original series’ are expected to return in 2023:
- Black Mirror, Season 6—expected 2023
- Bridgerton, Season 3—expected 2023
- Emily in Paris, Season 4—expected in December
- Formula 1: Drive to Survive, Season 5—expected in February
- Outer Banks, Season 3—expected 2023
- The Crown, Season 6—expected late 2023 or early 2024
- Squid Game, Season 2—expected late 2023 or early 2024
- You, Season 4—releasing in two parts on Feb. 9 and March 9
The return of Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO for 15 years who replaced Bob Chapek last month, indicates a renewed focus on streaming. Analysts agree Iger needs to clean up Disney’s offerings throughout its three disparate platforms—Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu—to regain shareholder trust. Consumers will likely see the effects of Iger’s plan beginning in 2023, which could include housing the platforms under one service. The company’s streaming offerings aren’t profitable and aren’t expected to be until 2024.
Disney is releasing a slate of movies into theaters in 2023. They are expected to arrive on Disney+ after the theater releases, though the company hasn’t published dates many of them will be added:
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania—releasing April 10
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3—expected after the theatrical release on May 5
- The Little Mermaid, live-action—expected after the theatrical release on May 26
- Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny—expected after the theatrical release on June 30
- The Marvels—expected after the theater release on July 28
- Kraven the Hunter—expected after the theatrical release on Oct. 6
- Wish—expected after the theatrical release on Nov. 23
Also, Disney+ has a slate of TV shows planned as well:
- Echo, Season 1—expected in Summer
- Loki, Season 2—expected in Summer
- Secret Invasion, Season 1—expected early 2023
- Star Wars: Ahsoka, Season 1—expected 2023
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Season 2—releasing Jan. 4
- Star Wars: Visions, Season 2—expected in Spring
- The Mandalorian, Season 3—releasing March 1
- What If…?, Season 2—expected early 2023
Warner Bros. Discovery, HBO Max’s parent company, will combine HBO Max and Discovery+ into one service in the spring. The price of the combined service will be higher than HBO Max’s current price, which it hasn’t changed since its launch. The number of advertisements on the ad-tier could also double, according to JB Perrette, the company’s streaming and games executive. Warner Bros. hasn’t announced the price of the service, which is reportedly named Max. In addition to its new combined service, Warner Bros. Discovery is expected to launch a free, ad-supported service in 2023.
In an earnings call, Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav expressed interest in building out franchises like Harry Potter and Superman. After a year of layoffs and canceled shows, Zaslav will focus on cash generation in the new year, according to CNBC.
Here are some of the shows on HBO Max returning with new seasons in 2023:
- Barry, Season 4—expected before May
- Euphoria, Season 3—expected late 2023 or early 2024
- Hacks, Season 3—releasing May 11
- Succession, Season 4—expected in Spring
- The White Lotus, Season 3—expected late 2023 or early 2024
The Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, has been confirmed for a second season, but it likely won’t air until 2024, HBO executive Casey Bloys told Vulture. Films in the DC Extended Universe like the Aquaman and Shazam! sequels will premiere in theaters this year but could be added to Max after.
Amazon Prime Video
Unlike other streaming services, Amazon offers its video service as a perk with its Amazon Prime subscription rather than as a standalone service. Earlier this year, the company increased its Prime price from $119 to $139 per year.
Despite its streaming service not being profitable, Amazon spent the most on content out of any platform in 2022. Here’s what to expect in 2023:
- Daisy Jones and the Six, Season 1—releasing March 3
- Jack Ryan, Season 4—expected late 2023
- The Boys, Season 4—expected late 2023
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Season 5—expected as early as February
- The Summer I Turned Pretty, Season 2—expected in Summer
The second season for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power likely won’t premiere in 2023. Showrunner Patrick McKay expects Season 2 to take a couple of years to make, he told the Hollywood Reporter in October.