Disney+ has become, in just two years, Netflix’s biggest rival in the so-called continuous wars. And he did it precisely by breaking some of the dogmas that the red giant seemed to have created in the face of linear television. Netflix, for its part, faces a difficult decision: to lower prices in exchange for including advertising and thus not losing the long-awaited users.
When Disney Plus was announced in 2018, Netflix then exceeded the barrier of 130 million users worldwide. The mouse house service was first launched in the United States in 2019 and in spring 2020 in Europe, in the midst of the confinement. That same fall, it would expand to all of Latin America. And so until todayHow it is now Disney Plus which has nearly 130 million subscribers worldwide.
The pandemic has caused the business of streaming platforms to skyrocket, but the one that seems to have benefited the most from it is undoubtedly Disney. Its direct premieres on its platform or with additional payment of some of the their bets which could not go through the halls they made that, quarter after quarter, their number of rejections rises. The question will always remain (the streaming industry is still much more muted on profitability than traditional exposure) whether it cost the conglomerate a lot of money compared to what it could have made at the box office. with its big releases. But, in the medium term, they have already put people on their platform.
Disney added 11.8 million subscribers to its platform in the last quarter it reported results, beating analysts’ average estimate of about 7 million. It still has a long way to “chase” Netflix, which continues to dominate with 220 worldwide, but the speed at which it cuts its presence is getting more and more intense.
And as we said, It did this by somehow changing some of the things we took for granted in streaming. that, to a large extent, Netflix had invented: saying goodbye to the premiere in batches to bet on the weekly, giving away additional content (like its recently released films) with an additional payment instead of locking everything in a flat rate and, now, even announcing that it will create an option with advertisements to make the subscription cheaper.
Streaming with ads
Disney, which announced that this option would be available first in the United States, is not a pioneer in offering this option. In the United States, platforms such as Peacock raised it from the start, a formula to which HBO Max or Paramount + were then added. The idea is simple: in a context where the price of platforms is increasing more and more, offer a cheaper option and incidentally diversify or offset income with advertising to use. Streaming, fundamentally, is not going to abandon conventional television revenue models.
Disney executive Kareem Daniel announced the decision “a victory for everyone, consumers and advertisers”, in a statement accompanying the announcement. But that contradicts the company’s plans presented last summer.
In June 2021, Disney CEO Bob Chapek dropped the idea of introducing an ad-supported option. on Disney Plus. “We are still reassessing how we go to market globally, but we have no plans to do so at this time,” Chapek said. “We are happy with the models we have.”
Chapek’s words at the time are similar to those Netflix CFO Spencer Neumann also left these days following Disney’s announcement: “We don’t have a crusade against commercials. . For the moment we are not considering it. But you can never say never,” he said of it.
Disney vs. Netflix with superheroes by its side
The timing of Disney’s announcement is particularly aggressivesince it was given shortly after knowing that in a few weeks the catalog of the Marvel series (daredevil, luke cage, Jessica Jones, iron fist, The defenders and The Punisher), which were previously exclusive to Netflix, will be coming to its platform.
Netflix canceled its Marvel series from 2019 when its licensing deal with Disney expired, just as its own platform launched.
Date of high on Disney Plus now and save with annual subscriptionwith which you can enjoy all its catalog of series and films, access to the latest versionsin the catalog of Star and top National Geographic documentaries.
His arrival also represents a certain paradigm shift in the public’s view of Disney Plus. In reality, their current campaigns aim to highlight that there is more than just child and youth friendly content on the platform. In particular, the violence and sexual content of older Netflix series with Marvel characters are generally more graphic than those of Cinematic Universe movies.
2025: the year of the ‘sorpasso’?
Recently, an analysis carried out by the consulting firm Digital TV Research collected by hollywood journalist projected that the number of subscribers to Disney+ would reach 284 million in 2026compared to the estimated 270 for Netflix.
The analysis places Amazon Prime in third place, which will reach 243.4 million users, while HBO would have 76.3 million and Apple TV+ would be around 35.
Overall, global subscriptions to SVOD platforms would increase by 491 million between 2021 and 2026 to reach 1.64 billion worldwide. A cake, therefore, which would continue to grow, but changing who has the biggest piece.