Netflix is undeniably king in the world of streaming video at this point, and the odds of another streaming service already on the market catching up to it are slim to none. Now, it turns out that Netflix may soon dominate a major company outside of the streaming sphere. Yes, Netflix could very well be worth more money than Disney in the not-too-distant future.
Once upon a time, the very idea of Netflix even approaching Disney would have come across as absurd. In fact, Disney was once rumored as a potential buyer for Netflix, and the big Disney/Fox merger announced back in December proves that Disney is still making big moves to grow. Nevertheless, new numbers indicate that Netflix is catching up to Disney and could surpass the company sooner rather than later.
The current market value listed for Netflix is $138.8 billion. Disney's market value is currently 150.6 billion. Obviously a difference of $12 billion is still quite big, but Netflix's growth and continued bold movements toward expansion could mean that it makes up for that difference relatively quickly. The streaming service has become known for spending (and borrowing) massive amounts of money for the production of originals, and it will spend a whopping $8 billion on originals in 2018.
While Netflix CEO Reed Hastings doesn't believe $8 billion is quite as crazy a figure as it sounds, $8 billion is a lot of money. According to Variety, Netflix has already announced its intention to continue spending lots of money on lots of original content for "several more years." Given how successful the streamer has already been in 2018, there's no real sign at this point that slowing down is the way to go. Netflix can claim $11.7 billion in revenue from 2017, with a remaining net margin of 4.8%. Netflix is even beating Disney in the price/earnings ratio.
The growing amount of debt for Netflix doesn't seem to be an issue for the company as it continues to spend more with the idea of making more. The company already holds more than $8 billion in debt and an incredible $17.9 billion in payment obligations due over lengths of time. Netflix will need to continue its trend of amazing growth to make enough money to pay off these debts. Investors reportedly believe that Netflix has what it takes to continue its trajectory and therefore likely beat Disney moving forward, although some analysts believe that Netflix stock is overvalued.
Of course, there are still plenty of variables in play before we should declare that Netflix will for sure be worth more than Disney. If subscribers continue to prefer licensed content over originals, Netflix's revenue may drop. Also, Disney has a streaming service of its own in the works that could add to its revenue. We'll have to wait and see.