For a long time, Netflix has inarguably been the leader when it comes to streaming. It has contended with Hulu and Amazon Prime Video for a while. Now, it is getting ready to deal with the entry of one of its biggest contenders to-date: Disney+. That is not the only streamer looking to get into the race.
Netflix has heat coming from the upcoming launch of Apple, NBCUniversal, and WarnerMedia's streaming services. How does Netflix's content chief, Ted Sarandos, feel about the impending deluge of competition? At SeriesFest in Denver, Sarandos answered the question, saying (via Deadline):
The thing that’s interesting about all these upcoming services, as well as the services that are in the market today, is that mostly they have none of the same programming. Nothing that’s on Disney+ is going to be on Netflix and nothing that’s on Netflix is going to be on the [Comcast and WarnerMedia services]. They’re going to be very unique. ... I think it’s very likely that [users will] add things.
He makes an excellent point. If there is content that viewers want to see, they will likely seek it. Netflix is in the midst of a considerable sea change. The Office and other NBC favorites could be leaving the streamer, once their deals are done. Fans of NBCUniversal content are not the only ones looking to lose their one-stop-shop experience.
Netflix’s deal with The CW is also nearing its end. With so much content potentially migrating to other platforms, subscribers could add to their subscriptions. Even though that content is leaving, Netflix originals will remain at home.
There is no hard rule that subscribers have to stop with Netflix. However, the expense of adding more is going to be an issue. Once upon a time, there was one streamer for pretty much everything. Now, everything is getting broken up into small, monetized bites. Costs add up.
Hence, Disney+’s reasonably priced monthly subscription and Walmart’s purported bid into streaming. Also remember that Netflix went up on its price last year. Subscribers are feeling the price crunch. The good news is that they have more television content than ever before at their fingertips (for a price).
That said, there is reportedly a reason for Netflix to be careful about its future. A recent online survey indicated that the streaming giant could lose millions of subscribers to Disney+, once it launches. Meanwhile, researchers recently shared that Disney+ could attract many more customers than it originally anticipated.
I think the key in this battle will be content. Those who only subscribe to Disney+ will get the streamer’s much-buzzed-about Marvel television shows. However, they will not get to see the final season of Lucifer or potential future seasons of Black Mirror or Stranger Things. Netflix still has an edge. Something to consider.