[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Streaming wars heat up as rivals queue up to challenge Netflix.
Netflix is no doubt a market leader in streaming, but it could face a major challenge soon as big names in media and tech are gearing up to move into streaming.
Apple is set to make an announcement on 25th March of its media plans. The tech firm, with partners including stars like Jennifer Aniston and director J.J Abrams, has an estimated $1 billion in preparation for this.
Disney+, a new Walt Disney Co. streaming service will launch this year, as will another from WarnerMedia, the newly acquired media-entertainment division of AT&T.
Netflix, with about 140 million paid subscribers in 190 markets, could face a formidable challenge from the new entrants.
The rivalry comes as a result of the growing movement by consumers to on-demand television delivered over internet platforms, a market which has also been transformed by the spectacular growth of Netflix.
The US alone has an estimated six million consumers, according to Leichtman Research.
But just as Netflix has disrupted traditional “linear” television, rivals are now moving to disrupt Netflix.
Netflix is likely to feel pain, not only from the new rivals but also from the loss of content from the big libraries of Disney and Time Warner.
Laura Martin, an analyst with the research firm Needham & Co says:
“Netflix will lose subscribers to these new entrants.”
They will be armed with a vast library of films and shows.
JP Morgan analyst Alexia Quadrani predicts Disney will eventually scale up to become as big as Netflix, or even bigger by signing up 45 million US subscribers and 115 million internationally due to its “unmatched brand recognition, extensive premium content, and unparalleled ecosystem to market the service.”
But should Netflix start panicking? Some analysts say not yet.
“Netflix has figured this business out, they know what consumers want,” said Dan Rayburn, a streaming media analyst with Frost & Sullivan.
But Rayburn said that over time, rivals may be able to leverage their user base and infrastructure to eat away at Netflix’s advantage.
Still, he said any company that wants to challenge Netflix needs to be “quick and nimble” and that it remains to be seen if the legacy players can do that.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]