And they’re off! The streaming wars have begun, with Disney Plus launching in the US this week, following Apple TV Plus‘ launch at the start of the month. The early signs suggest that Apple may already be lagging behind the competition.
Analyst firm Eagle Alpha revealed the findings of its research into the competing streaming platforms.
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Using Twitter to gauge interest in each platform, the analysts found that − to nobody’s surprise − Netflix is still very much the dominant force in streaming, at least for the time being.
The analysis saw Eagle Alpha survey five million tweets from users based in the US (where Netflix, Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus are all available, amongst others) that mentioned a streaming service. Netflix had a 70% share of the Twitter conversation that was analysed, compared to 1% for Apple.
Hulu did surprisingly well, cropping up in 14% of the tweets, compared to Roku’s 7% and Disney’s 6%. Although some of these may have been complaints about technical issues.
Dean Barr, Eagle Alpha’s head of bespoke projects, said: “It’s too early to predict how Disney+ and other new streaming challengers to Netflix will fare in the coming months, but early indications suggest legacy players, including Hulu, maybe in a stronger position than previously thought.
“Our research also suggests that Apple TV Plus is struggling to gain traction. Investors should look beyond last quarter’s financials to come to an informed judgement about who will prevail in battles looming ahead.”
Barr is clearly right when he says it’s too early to read too much into this.
However, the streaming war has been a long time coming. That, combined with the fact that some of Apple’s opening volley of programming has received scathing reviews, means the temptation to jump to an early conclusion was just way too tempting.
Apple’s strategy of relying solely on exclusive content was always going to be a risky one, but the firm’s hope was that the low price point and product tie-ins would bring consumers to the channel.
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The wisdom of Apple’s strategy has already been brought into question, Eagle Alpha’s research suggests that price is far from the first issue that consumers consider when choosing a streaming service, with less than 1% of tweets discussing the price of streaming platforms.