TechnologyHow Disney is Chipping Away at Netflix's Dominance

How Disney is Chipping Away at Netflix’s Dominance



Netflix, he said, is really competing against traditional television, and the “shakeout” won’t happen until streaming makes up the majority of viewing. He cited the latest study from Nielsen, which showed that streaming accounts for about 26 percent of television viewing in the United States, with Netflix making up about 6 percent. Disney+ is far behind at 1 percent.

In other words: If Disney+ is hurting us, we haven’t seen it.

The argument that Netflix has been competing with regular television and other streamers for a long time overlooks the fact that new rivals like Disney+ and AppleTV+ are much cheaper than Netflix (and subscription television). And although those services produce far fewer originals than Netflix, they appear to be getting more bang for their buck.

In the second quarter, Disney+ got a big boost of demand interest from “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” a series based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has thoroughly dominated the box office in recent years. “Loki,” another Marvel spinoff, also helped, according to Parrot.

Amazon Prime Video got a boost in the period with “Invincible,” an animated superhero series for adults. And AppleTV+ attracted new customers with three originals: “Mosquito Coast,” a drama based on the 1981 novel; “For All Mankind,” a sci-fi series; and “Mythic Quest,” a comedy series that takes place in a game developer studio.

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

The company called gaming a “new content category” that will be a “multiyear effort” and said it would be included as part of a subscribers’ existing plans at no extra cost. Games will first appear on its mobile app, an environment that already allows for interactivity. The vast majority of Netflix’s customers watch on big-screen televisions.

Gaming isn’t meant to be a stand-alone or a separate element within Netflix. “Think of it as making the core service better,” Mr. Hastings said. “Really, we’re a one-product company with a bunch of supporting elements.”


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