How Disney is Chipping Away at Netflix’s Dominance


Netflix, he said, is really competing with traditional television, and the “cleanup” won’t happen until streaming makes up the bulk of television. He cited the latest study by Nielsen, which showed that streaming accounts for about 26 percent of television consumption in the United States, with Netflix accounting for about 6 percent. Disney + is way behind with 1 percent.

In other words, if Disney + hurts us, we haven’t seen it.

The argument that Netflix has long competed with regular TV and other streamers overlooks the fact that new competitors like Disney + and AppleTV + are significantly cheaper than Netflix (and pay TV). And while these services produce far fewer originals than Netflix, they seem to be getting more for their money.

In the second quarter, Disney + received a big boost in demand from “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” a series based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe that has thoroughly dominated the box office in recent years. Another Marvel spin-off, Loki, also helped, according to Parrot.

Amazon Prime Video got a boost with “Invincible”, an animated superhero series for adults. And AppleTV + has won new customers with three originals: Mosquito Coast, a drama based on the 1981 novel; “For All Mankind,” a science fiction series; and Mythic Quest, a comedy series set in a game development studio.

Speaking of which, Netflix said this month it was planning to jump into video games. It has hired a gaming manager, Mike Verdu, formerly at Electronic Arts and Facebook, to oversee the development of new games. It’s a potentially significant move for the company that hasn’t strayed far from its TV series and movie formula.

The company named gaming a “new category of content” that will be a “multi-year effort” and said it would be added to subscribers’ existing plans at no additional cost. Games will first appear in its mobile app, an environment that already enables interactivity. The vast majority of Netflix customers watch big screen TVs.

Gaming is not intended to be a stand-alone or separate element within Netflix. “Think of it as a core service improvement,” said Mr. Hastings. “We are really a one-product company with many supporting elements.”