The battle for content on streaming platforms has been heating up for years now and, as more studios create their own platforms, the more content you want to watch is split among a multitude of sites.
Netflix has however won a reportedly lucrative contract with Sony Pictures to be the exclusive streaming partner in the US for theatrical releases in what Variety calls a “pay one deal”. This means that following the theatrical release of a film, Netflix will be the first streaming service to run the film. This pay one window as it’s known generally begins nine months after a film’s release.
As part of this deal Netflix will reportedly have to carry an undisclosed number of direct-to-streaming titles from as well as a number of older titles from the Sony Pictures vault.
According to a press release from Sony, the first slate of films headed to Netflix exclusively (during the pay one window) will include Morbius, Where the Crawdads Sing, Bullet Train and Uncharted, but these films will only hit Netflix in 2022.
We should also point out that, if Netflix doesn’t take a Sony Pictures film, Sony is within its rights to offer the film to another platform.
“Sony Pictures is a great partner and we are thrilled to expand our relationship through this forward-thinking agreement,” head of global films at Netflix, Scott Stuber, said in a statement. “This not only allows us to bring their impressive slate of beloved film franchises and new IP to Netflix in the U.S., but it also establishes a new source of first run films for Netflix movie lovers worldwide”.
Despite what Stuber says about the rest of the world, there are currently a multitude of Sony Pictures films on Netflix here in South Africa, including a number of more recent titles. However, being able to get access to these films as soon as they are enter the pay one window is a nice touch.
We also appreciate that rather than building its own streaming service from scratch, Sony opted to go with an established streaming service. The last thing we needed is yet another streaming service just so we could watch Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequels.
How this deal will affect content in the rest of the world is unclear at this stage but if you’re looking for content from Sony Pictures, Netflix is going to be your one-stop-shop from 2022.