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Disney Plus ‘set to cost Netflix 1 million subscribers’

Disney’s Plus has made a strong start, according to newly researched subscriber figures. Should established streaming giant, Netflix, be worried? 

Analysts at Cowen & Co think perhaps they should. The analysts conducted research which led them to believe that the arrival of Disney Plus (and Apple TV Plus,) will result in one million extra Netflix subscription cancellations (via Variety).

Those watching the streaming wars unfold had already been wowed by news from analysts at Credit Suisse. Last week they upgraded their estimate on Disney Plus’s end of year subscription numbers from 14.3.m to 20m (via NBC).

20 million? Pah. Now, Cowen & Co are suggesting the figure will be more like 24m.

Related: Netflix vs Disney Plus 

If we were to take the middle road and presume the final figure is likely to fall somewhere inbetween 20m and 24m, then that’s a seriously impressive start from Disney.

How will this impact on the established giant of streaming, Netlix?

The streaming platform fell short of subscriber numbers forecast for Q3 2019 but still grew overall (via Variety).

Equally, while Netflix share prices dropped off in late September, largely due to competition concerns, they’ve taken a healthy value boost since. This suggests that the market experts initially panicked, before coming round to another way of thinking: Multiple, large-scale streaming services can co-exist comfortably.

In their October letter to shareholders, Netflix essentially argued that, because streaming is a new market with much more growth potential, they won’t be limited by the arrival of competition, at least not yet. There’s lots of headroom and Netflix, Apple, HBO, Disney and more can all grow together… so their theory goes.

At a glance, that argument seems to stand up pretty well. Netflix is fighting back too, the recent release of The Irishman definitely stole back some of the limelight that had, by and large, been shining on the newer streaming services.

There was a huge amount of anticipation around the release of Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus, not just because of their content but because of the resulting “streaming wars” that would see them take on Netflix.

So far, the initial skirmishes of those wars are inconclusive, though it’s fair to say that Disney have done well. Apple haven’t covered themselves in glory, as most of their initial roster was met with bad or mediocre critical appraisals and really, Netflix have just stayed on course.

There’ll be some more light shone on the streaming wars when Disney’s quarterly earnings call comes round. For now, we’ll just have to wait for further updates.

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