Netflix launched its streaming platform in 2007. Since then, the platform has grown at a very fast pace and reached 190 countries around the world. According to Statista, by 2017, the number of Netflix subscribers surpassed the number of cable pay-TV subscribers in the US.
At first, the popularity of the platform relied solely on acquired content produced by other media companies, such as Disney. Eventually, Netflix started investing in its own original productions. The company’s CEO, Reed Hastings, said in 2013, the future of Netflix was dependent on creating its own exclusive content.
In fact, the strategy of producing original content has been very successful so far, with Netflix delivering a great number of popular series such as “House of Cards,” “Orange is the New Black,” and “Stranger Things.” But are they enough to keep their subscribers once other production houses pull their content from Netflix?
With the launch of the new streaming platform from The Walt Disney Company, Disney+, in nearly one month, the pressure of competition is getting higher for Netflix. Next year, WarnerMedia conglomerate is also making a big move and launching its streaming platform HBO Max. This means, in the next few months, Netflix will have to say goodbye to Star Wars, Friends, and many others. The streaming war is on and many people are wondering about the future of Netflix in this scenario.
I believe Netflix will inevitably face a decrease in its number of subscribers. This is due to the decrease in quality content on the Netflix platform, the increase of competition and the limited budget of consumers. Also important in this scenario, is the competitive price of Disney+. The service’s subscription will be only $6.99 a month, which is considerably cheaper than Netflix. How many people will be willing to subscribe to both streaming platforms simultaneously and how many will substitute Netflix for Disney+? How will this scenario change when HBO Max enters the streaming war next year?
The bright side for Netflix is that the company had time to build up its image and reputation without significant direct competitors in the field. Now that the situation is changing, Netflix will lose a portion of its subscribers, but it will certainly continue to be a big player in the market. Nevertheless, the market dynamics are about to change soon. It is likely that a new era of bundling, mergers and collaborative work between the different streaming platforms is coming up. Following the same logic as what happened with cable TV, the market cannot properly accommodate so many different players working independently at the same time. So, in order to survive, they will get together again and we could be seeing an era of partnership between Disney+ and Netflix.