After the onslaught of Apple and Disney, the race to be the main source of entertainment becomes increasingly competitive. But attention is inevitably focused on Netflix, a pioneer in the distribution of digital content. The nearly 150 million subscribers that the platform has streaming they generated revenues of $ 4.52 billion in the first quarter of the year, 22% more than in the same period in 2018. Profits grew at exactly the same rate, reaching $ 344 million.
Before the results are released, analysts at Deutsche Bank have told investors that Netflix is increasingly becoming a "cultural necessity" around the world. And with that argument he justified raising the target price to $ 400 per share. On Tuesday, the papers closed the session at $ 355, after having appreciated 30% so far this year.
Besides pay television, which loses its audience, there is no other platform that still has the reach of Netflix. Not only is it an attraction for the consumer who is looking for original content, it is also a magnet for talent. It's a race that Apple and Disney have just entered after years of preparation to make the leap, while Amazon, Hulu and HBO bolster investments.
The number of subscribers is 25% higher than a year ago. Of the total, 60 million correspond to the North American market. The platform has just announced an increase in the price of the subscription. Disney + tries to give it a first bite by offering his service at $ 69 a year when he launches in November, although to earn a fee he will do so at the cost of losing money.
In the first quarter, it added 9.6 million users worldwide, up from 8.1 million it gave as a guide. However, the projection is that in the second quarter is five million. Reed Hastings, its CEO, says in any case that it does not expect new entrants to affect its growth because there is room to compete and its product is different.
"Good competition makes you better," said Reed Hastings at the presentation of the results. The CEO insisted on "authentically local" productions as a point of differentiation for Netflix. This, added Ted Sarandos, makes history travel better in the world. But, as the founder says, his main rival is at this time the video game Fortnite.
Apple and Disney have a huge amount of liquidity to provide original content. In the case of Disney, in addition, you do not have to spend as much as Netflix because you already have the studies. This could change the dynamics of business from now on. The challenge, therefore, for Netflix, from now on, is to demonstrate to investors that it can continue to increase its user base.
Hulu, meanwhile, has just bought from AT & T its 9.5% stake in the merger with the Time Warner conglomerate. Disney, in turn, took control of the majority (60%) of the platform streaming while acquiring the 21st Century Fox studios. The other owner is the Comcast cable company (30%), which also controls the NBC Universal media group.
The Hulu platform has 25 million subscribers and operates only in the US. It is currently valued at $ 15 billion. The package of programs offered is much smaller than that of cable and its main competitor is YouTube. What remains to be seen is whether this shift in dynamics ends up concentrating ownership on Disney's hands, to link it to their service.