Lookout Netflix, Here’s Comes Disney Play
Remember last August when Disney decided to pull their content off Netflix beginning in 2019? The move was a precursor to Disney’s launch of their own stand-alone streaming platform. On Friday the Mouse’s plan started to take shape with the announcement of their new streaming service called Disney Play. While all the details haven’t been released yet, Disney Play will priced below Netflix’s lowest subscription tier of $8/mo. Considering the fact that Disney already owns its content they can pretty much price DP as low as they want, putting competitive pressure on Netflix who has to spend $1B+ on content per year.
Although it will take until mid-2019 to gage the impact of Disney Play on the OTT market, the term “Netflix Killer” is already being bandied around the industry. The combination of Netflix losing Disney’s and now 21st Centurty Fox’s content, and having a new competitor who’s undercutting them on price, could have a material threat to their subscription base. My prediction is the problem for Netflix goes beyond just Disney. If Disney Play is successful as a stand-alone OTT it may inspire other content owners to start their own streaming service. This could setup a future where tomorrow’s streamers are like today’s networks – with several to choose from across the digital dial. If (when?) that happens Netflix’s days of being the only big dog in the OTT yard will be over.