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Inside the holiday content wars

Dashing through your holiday movie marathon — how networks and platforms have created a mind-numbingly large library of original holiday content.

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The most creative enthusiasts, cultural critics, and cinephiles have a lot to say when it comes to talking shop about film, television, and Hollywood. In this three-part series, Streaming Straight Talk, Vox Creative and Dell will dive into the hot topics that define this new golden age of streaming and consuming content.

If you’ve noticed the influx of new holiday movies on your cable TV, Netflix, or Hulu — or if your family members have trapped you into watching an endless marathon of Lifetime holiday movies — you’re not alone. Networks now know the best way to capture a captive, Christmas-craving audience, and it’s with new, original movies. In fact, Hallmark plans to release nearly 50 new movies just this year. (Cue the holiday romance tropes!)

But it’s not just original holiday content that has platforms competing for our eyeballs. Movie studios have long noted that the holiday season is one of the more fruitful seasons to release new movies, like the James Bond franchise. Now, streaming platforms are taking the same cue. The most recent example you’d be hard-pressed to escape? Netflix’s Birdbox. The Sandra Bullock post-apocalyptic thriller was released the Friday before Christmas. In the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the movie was seen by more than 45 million accounts.

What’s the secret to winning the holiday content war? This roundtable of experts — Jordan Carlos, comedian; Angelique Roche, pop culture journalist; and Ben Selkow, filmmaker — agree that it’s not just the new original content that makes for a yearly Christmas tradition. It also comes down to the familiar classics you’ve practically memorized line by line. Go inside the holiday content war and see just how far platforms will go to keep you entertained this season.

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