The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic would have an impact on various industries. In many cases, obviously, in a very negative way. But some business models were able to carry on as they had been before. And in some instances, they became even busier.

A prime example of this is television streaming services. In the United States, movie theaters in every state were hit hard. Similar problems would arise internationally. Streaming services became the next-best option for releasing new Movies. Major studios began releasing their biggest titles simultaneously in theaters and on streaming services, even exclusively on streaming formats.

Speculation quickly grew about how much of a force streaming would become in the entertainment industry. It is true that it seems to have staked out its place in society. But maybe not as much as some expected.

Many subscribers drop services shortly after viewing big releases

Major movie studios own a number of the top streaming services. It perhaps should go without saying that Disney+ belongs to Disney or that Paramount+ belongs to Paramount. Others, such as HBO Max (Warner Bros.) and Peacock (Universal), are also others. HBO Max would, in essence, become the ground zero for same-day streaming and theatrical releases.

In the winter of 2020, the pandemic was raging. "Wonder Woman 1984" was supposed to be one of the year's biggest hits.

But because of COVID-19, its release had already been delayed three times. So instead of a fourth push, Warner Bros. opted to release it on Christmas Day. Both in theaters and on HBO Max. There had been dual releases already. But none had thus far been near so high-profile as "Wonder Woman 1984".

The move was a success. Many new subscribers flocked to HBO Max.

Meanwhile, the movie also drew in bigger-than-expected profits at the box office. Warner Bros. subsequently made the drastic decision of following suit for their entire 2021 schedule. Other studios would expand on the dual release format, albeit with only some of their slated movies. In some cases, subscribers would have to pay an extra fee to see the new movie in question.

The same-day model quickly began to stumble

However, by the end of 2021, the hard pivot toward streaming did not seem to be paying off. And in some cases, it might have even held some movies back from wider audiences. Including "Black Widow" and "The Matrix: Resurrections". But even the original spike in subscription numbers wasn't holding steady, notes Yahoo.

About half of the surge of HBO Max subscribers over "Wonder Woman 1984" was gone within six months. Other similar trends were found with other streaming services. Such as what Disney+ found in the months after launching its movie version of the Broadway show "Hamilton".

It even goes beyond non-movie programming. Peacock spiked in subscribers when it was covering the Tokyo Olympics during the summer of 2021.

Four months later, roughly half of that spike had been wiped out.

By the latter part of 2021, Disney had seemed to all but abandoned the dual release idea. Starting with 2022, Warner Bros. would do the same. And it would become apparent that Hollywood's most successful 2021 releases had been exclusive theatrical openings. "Spider-Man: No Way Home", "No Time to Die," and "F9", just to name a few.

In summary, services aren't getting as big of gains in subscribers as they thought they would. And many of the ones they have gotten haven't ended up staying long-term. The same-day format has not seemed to bring many benefits for streaming services. While also managing to at times be a negative drain for cinemas, which has remained the preferred viewing choice for movie enthusiasts.

And the exclusive release site for the biggest hits of the year.

Other streaming services also have struggles

The movie studio-operated streaming services aren't the only ones with problems. Others, such as Netflix, have been dealing with their own problems. Although TheStreet reports that it has gotten a recent boost in the stock market. The company has also expressed optimism regarding some of its popular original series set to return later in 2022. Among them, "Stranger Things" and "The Crown". Some of Netflix's competitors have also scored massive hits with their original series. Such as Disney+ and its catalog of Marvel Cinematic Universe and "Star Wars" series.

Some, not necessarily all, of the problems for these companies problems, could be the 'streaming wars' coming to a zenith.

There are about eight different services vying for the top spot in the U.S. alone. Along with other, smaller, perhaps more niche availabilities. It seemed only to be a matter of time before they started eating into each other's pool of subscribers.