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What the Recent Streaming Struggles Have Taught Churches



Streaming platforms saw a significant rise during COVID. In fact, there were a few new ones that developed and grew then. Two of the more popular platforms were HBO Max and Disney+. HBO Max launched in May of 2020 and Disney+ launched in November 2019, just before COVID hit. 

While streaming platforms have performed very well in recent years, struggles do happen. In fact, last week Netflix reported that they have lost 200,000 U.S. subscribers in the first quarter of 2022. It's their first loss of subscribers in a decade. In addition, on Thursday, CNN announced that CNN+, their new streaming service was cancelled. It lasted less than a month. 

So, what can these streaming struggles teach ministry leaders and Churches? Here are two things stand out to me from this news:

  1. There are a variety of reasons why Netflix loss subscribers, but one of the reasons is because of continued price increases. It is the most expensive streaming platform and keeps increasing. Even thought Netflix has had the most success and some of the biggest shows, there comes a point where people will only take so much. The ministry application is to make sure what you are offering lines up with what people want and can afford to do. In ministry we offer a variety of activities and events. Make sure what you are offering is what people want and can afford to do. If not, people won't show up. Do the research before you do any event or activity so that everything goes well. 
  2. CNN+ was dead before it even launched. With the merger of Discovery and Warner Brothers (which owns CNN), it was widely known that Discovery never wanted CNN+ to launch. However, Warner invested millions of dollars (over $300 million), hired tons of staff and rushed a launch right before the merger. So, when the merger finalized recently, CNN+ was cancelled. Millions of dollars were wasted and many jobs were lost. It will go down as one of the biggest failures in TV history. The ministry application is clear: everyone on the team needs to be on the same page. If not, whatever you offer will not work and countless hours will be lost and money spent will have been wasted. Make sure your team is on the same page and that those in charge fully support what you are doing.

Just because streaming is still "hot" right now doesn't mean you can change things or launch without doing your homework and research. The same is true for your ministry. Do your research and make sure everyone is on the same page. Otherwise you could end up having a rough week like Netflix and CNN.

What do you think? Why else should your Church or ministry be exploring the Metaverse this year? Share your ideas below or on social media.

Also, if you are interested in being a Digital Missionary or want to learn digital tools to expand your reach in ministry this year, join the Digital Bootcamp Facebook Group!

Be part of a Phygital, Digital-Only or Metaverse coaching or cohort, check out The Church Digital Equipping Store


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About Author

Tom Pounder
Tom Pounder

Tom Pounder was born and raised just outside of Washington, DC. He is the father of 4 daughters and loves being a girl dad. He has a background in Student Ministry working over 22 years with teenagers and currently serves as the Online Campus Pastor at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs and podcasts weekly at

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