After two weeks it is clear: Disney+ is a real threat to Netflix

After two weeks it is clear: Disney+ is a real threat to Netflix
If you're an executive with Netflix or Amazon Prime Video or Hulu, no one can blame you for feeling a bit more nervous than usual. There is a mouse in the house that is making these buttoned-down executives jump on their chairs and scream. No, we aren't talking about a real rodent here. Actually, the mouse we have in mind is named Mickey and remains the face of The Walt Disney Company.

A bit more than two weeks ago, the entertainment giant launched Disney+, a new streaming video service that is heavy on the nostalgia but also puts well-known characters into new situations. Surprisingly, Disney is undercutting the competition. After a seven-day free trial, users pay $6.99 a month (or $69.99 for a year) to place up to 10 devices on an account. Up to four screens can access the service at one time, and this price includes 4K streaming when available. To get a similar account on Netflix, you would have to pay $14.99 a month. And Disney+ is more than just animation and television shows for kids; the service includes the Star Wars franchise, Marvel movies, and even content from National Geographic.

After getting off to a rocky start on launch day, Disney has been working on making little improvements to the streamer's UI. It also managed to sign up 10 million subscribers after the first 24 hours, although how many signed up for the trial is impossible to guess. In addition, Verizon is offering its unlimited subscribers a free-year of service. This could end up benefiting Disney since some of those subscribers will no doubt convert into paying customers. Interestingly, it appears that many signing up for Disney+ are shelling out for a monthly or annual subscription right away without taking advantage of the free trial period.

Disney+ is a real threat to Netflix and its 60 million U.S. and 97 million global subscribers


And now, according to Apptopia, the Disney+ mobile app has been installed 15.5 million times during its first 13 days. That works out to over 1 million installs a day. And during that time period, the platform brought in $5 million from in-app purchases (mainly subscriptions). Note that this figure does not include subscriptions paid for through the Disney+ website. Over the last week, there were 25.6 million daily viewing sessions on Disney+.


Disney's target is Netflix, the leading video streamer with 60 million U.S. subscribers and 97 million global members. And while Disney+ is off to a great start, there is a question whether the Burbank based entertainment giant has merely picked the low-hanging fruit consisting of Disney fans who would be interested in anything that the company launches. But there is some data that indicates that the success of Disney+ goes beyond getting Disney fanatics to sign up for the service. Apptopia says that there is strong demand for the $12.99 per month bundle offered by Disney which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. Over the two weeks that the bundle has been available, Hulu downloads are up 55% while downloads of ESPN+ are up by 50%. Joanna Piacenza, senior data editor at Morning Consult, says, "I think everyone’s best bet is to bundle streaming services for the consumer so they don’t have to bundle it themselves.

Wall Street has also fallen for Disney+ as the company's shares have risen 10.8% from $136.74 the day before the streamer's launch to close Friday at $151.48. Wedbush analyst Dan Ives says, "This shows the company is gonna be a legit competitor to the likes of Netflix, despite the skeptics that continue to doubt the House of Mouse. The pricing, the content and the bundling was just a pure genius strategy from (CEO Bob) Iger and Disney."

You can install Disney+ for your iOS or Android device from the App Store or Google Play Store respectively.

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8 Comments

1. GodKnowsAll

Posts: 28; Member since: Oct 12, 2012

Not to me not going to watch same superhero crap all day. Netflix is way superior

3. nikhil23

Posts: 498; Member since: Dec 07, 2016

PA always has half baked articles that are not researched properly. Most other articles are saying that while Disney+ is good, it can't affect 157 mil Netflix subscribers.

5. AbhiD

Posts: 856; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

But you aren't everyone out there. You are just a single entity.

2. cmdacos

Posts: 4318; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Maybe worth it if you have small kids but the lack of new content has me questioning staying after Mandalorian is done.

4. liteon163

Posts: 75; Member since: Jan 24, 2017

It'll be easy to cycle through each of my email accounts to get a bunch of free trials until I watch all of the first season of The Mandalorian. I just need to wait awhile longer so there's a bunch to watch first.

6. djcody

Posts: 236; Member since: Apr 17, 2013

my free 7 day trial expired, didn't find worth subscribe for long term as for now.

7. JohnR

Posts: 163; Member since: Sep 08, 2017

Most people will just have both services.

8. Jdzspace

Posts: 22; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Not really. Disney is fine and everything, but Netflix is vastly superior. Why? Because if you don't have a child why would you get and stay with Disney? Netflix on the other hand has content for adults and children as well as international content. You realize that Netflix had original content from other countries? What incentive does Disney have for those countries after the shine of being "the new thing" wears off? Not much really. Hell I'm an English speaking American and I haven't watched anything on Disney+ really. I watched "born in China" because my wife is Chinese, and treasure planet because I wanted her to see it. Other than that. What is there? I'm not interested in Star Wars, and marvel is fine. But it can't validate an entire service on its own. But on Netflix I get newer movies, Indies, foreign content for the wife and me. Disney is off to a great start, but other than fanboys/girls of Star Wars and marvel what is there to build in the future? Great for kids, but otherwise...not so much. Not to say it'll fail because it won't. But it won't challenge Netflix. Not this year or next, or in 2030 or beyond. Netflix is just a vastly superior overall service that appeals to a much wider base of people.

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