Netflix Unmoved By Any Disney+ Success

Would you call Disney+ a success? How about 10 million subscribers by its first day? (This is largely due to a free, one-year subscription promotion for Verizon customers.) But now, a month in, Disney+, according to one estimate, is even higher.

An eye-opener of an estimate from Cowen & Co., which studied the impact of Disney+, said the new premium video platform is at a massive  24 million U.S. subscribers.

This came from a polling of 2,500 U.S. consumers -- 21% who said they signed up for Disney+.

Cowen extrapolated numbers to make that big projection.

If true, that would be beyond eye-opening. Disney+ is now at nearly 36% of Netflix’s current 67 million U.S. subscribers.

Considering that Netflix has had a streaming operation since 2007 and a fuller-fledged streaming operation, starting with its first original TV show “House of Cards” in 2013, the current levels of Disney+, at four weeks old, are a roaring success.



But don’t get the sense Netflix is slowing down. Cowen & Co’s estimate is that only 1 million subscribers have dropped Netflix to go to Disney. (The report also says 80% of those who have signed up for Disney+, 19.4 million, are also keeping Netflix.)

This may be why: This year alone, Netflix is releasing more than 371 original TV shows and movies, up from 240 a year ago. The company’s near term goal is to have 700 TV shows and movies.

For its part, Cowen & Co. believes -- even with the big launches of Disney+ and Apple TV+ -- Netflix will still hit its fourth-quarter target of 7.6 million new global subscriber additions.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings continues to believe all this activity is good for the industry overall. Thought its stock has come down a bit since just before the launches of Disney+ and Apple TV+, over the last several weeks, Netflix continues to make gains.

And now we have the end-of-the-season marketing awards push -- which will tease the minds of new and existing streaming consumers.

For example, Netflix posted 17 nominations for Golden Globe Awards, which will be given out early next year. HBO, a perennial TV/movie award leader, has 15. This is the reverse of HBO’s advantage at the last Emmy Awards, where HBO led with 137 nominations to Netflix’s 117.

So, it’s not just quantity for Netflix (growing original TV-movie content). It's also quality. All that looks to continue to grab consumers' attention. Disney is taking notice. Maybe that’s where the “+” part comes in.

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