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Tara Lachapelle

Streaming Services Face an Economic Reckoning After Covid-19

The Netflix model won't work for everyone. Get ready for ads, bundles and social viewing.

Hit the pause button.

Hit the pause button.

Photographer: Phil Barker/Future Publishing

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Bloomberg Opinion will be running a series of features by our columnists that consider the long-term consequences of the crisis. This column is part of a package envisioning a new consumer economy. For more, see Andrea Felsted on the future landscape of retail and Mary Duenwald on technology changing how we shop and on how consumers respond to crises.

As Hollywood sets sit empty because of the Covid-19 pandemic, streaming-video apps that were just getting off the ground are now running out of fresh movies and TV episodes. But this is only a hiccup compared to the vexing problem that awaits the industry when it finally emerges from the crisis. Is it possible to make money in the business of streaming?