Netflix pioneered entertainment streaming and created the phenomenon of ‘binge watching’. It’s ridden the wave as market leader for a while now, but a huge surge of competition is coming.
“While we’ve been competing with many people in the last decade, it’s a whole new world starting in November, between Apple launching and Disney launching, and of course Amazon’s ramping up,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told Variety.
“It’ll be tough competition. Direct-to-consumer [customers] will have a lot of choice.”
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Netflix will not be diversifying into sports, as Amazon is, Hastings added. In December, Amazon Prime Video customers will be able to stream two rounds of Premier League football, including three blockbusters in Man Utd vs Tottenham, Leicester vs Liverpool, and Man Utd vs Newcastle.
What could, however, be key in the coming battle for market share, is simpoly quite how deep Disney, Amazon and Apple’s pockets are.
Apple is, of course, a dominant force in tech, well beyond the entertainment streaming market.
Its prominent position in the phone and computing markets will make it easy for it to direct new customers to its streaming service and to publicise the platform using bundle offers and other similar marketing devices.
Amazon is equally, hugely significant in global markets and while Disney’s very much entertainment based, it has a huge history, and legacy, compared to Netflix.
It’s also just undergone a huge growth period in acquiring large parts of 21st Century Fox. This could leave Hastings and co. at Netflix in a slightly precarious position. The streaming giant will have to work hard to keep its 148 millions subscribers worldwide.
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Hastings doesn’t seem worried though. “You do your best job when you have great competitors,” he said earlier this year.