The streaming competition between Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon and the many other platforms available to viewers is only going to become tougher in 2020. It’s been about a month since Disney Plus launched and despite some technical teething problems, it’s quickly generated a healthy subscriber base, as well as a lot of buzz about The Mandalorian and a certain green character. While Netflix are still the undisputed heavyweight of the streaming market, they may be worried about reports that over a million subscribers have defected to Disney Plus in its first month.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a study by investment bank and financial services company Cowen & Co. found that 19.4 million of Disney Plus’ approximately 24 million US subscribers also have Netflix. However, the same report indicates that 5.8% of those surveyed have already cut ties to Netflix, which represents about 1.1 million people. Netflix shouldn’t be too concerned, though, as they gained 7.6 million new subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2019, and it was always likely that there’d be some people who’d switch their subscription due to the hype around Disney Plus.
Going into 2020, Netflix are continuing to invest heavily in their exclusive original content, including the soon-to-premiere The Witcher, the returning Stranger Things and many (many) more programs. Of course, Disney Plus have put a lot of budget behind The Mandalorian and their Marvel series slate, but according to another survey, the most-viewed content on the service so far have been Disney Classics. Apparently, Disney Plus originals currently only account for 2% of content being watched, with Star Wars material at 21% and Marvel at 15%.
Considering that Disney Plus has just launched, and subscriber feedback is still being collected, it’s probably best not to read too much into viewing stats at the moment. What we do know, though, is that Netflix will have to keep up their spending on original material to retain subscribers, especially given a 40% cut in their movie library since 2014.
From one perspective, this competition means more content for fans, but it also means we’ll be getting even more shows/movies to keep up with. In this context, are you a Netflix subscriber who’s dropped or will be dropping the service to move to Disney Plus? As ever, let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.