Netflix Soars In Subscription; Faces New Streaming Rivals

Netflix earned 9.6 million new members in the first quarter of 2019, boasting a total of 148.8 million subscribers worldwide. Photo by Stock Catalog/Flickr
Netflix earned 9.6 million new members in the first quarter of 2019, boasting a total of 148.8 million subscribers worldwide. Photo by Stock Catalog/Flickr

Netflix earned 9.6 million new members in the first quarter of 2019, boasting a total of 148.8 million subscribers worldwide.

Last year, the streaming giant earned $290 million in the first quarter. This year, its profit increased to $344 million.

However, the emergence of new streaming services from tech heavyweight Apple and entertainment conglomerate Disney might pose a threat to Netflix.

In fact, after the two companies’ public announcement of their plans to venture into content creation, Netflix’s stock slightly plummeted.

Reports say that this dip can be attributed to the arrival of cheaper alternatives that might affect the subscription rate of Netflix in the succeeding quarters.

However, in a letter to its shareholders, Netflix said they are confident that the arrival of these streaming platforms will not impact the company’s growth. Netflix said that in this day and age, on-demand entertainment is highly favored than traditional viewing.

Jill Rosengard Hill, from media firm Magid, told CNN Business that Netflix has become such a beloved streaming site that it has been embedded in the modern vernacular, citing people’s heavy usage of the phrase “Netflix and Chill.”

Moreso, Netflix said that as people veer away from linear viewing, streaming sites will continue to grow stronger.

Instead of being threatened, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings expressed the company’s delight for the expansion of services of Disney and Apple. “Great competition makes you better,” Hastings said. The chief further emphasized Netflix’s excitement for being in the same league with these renowned companies.

Disney’s forthcoming streaming site, Disney+, will be made available on November 2019 in North America. It will offer a mix of new and existing content. Aside from Disney originals, Disney+ will showcase creations from Pixar, Marvel Studios, and National Geographic. Charging $6.99 per month, this platform costs half of Netflix’s basic plan, which is seen as its advantage from other sites.

But Hill said that despite its affordability, the emergence of Disney+ does not guarantee that Netflix’s users will cancel their existing subscription. People are willing to patronize an average of six streaming services, according to Magid’s data. Further, viewers prefer to watch original stories and Netflix is allocating billions of dollars to regularly provide unique content to its audience.

Apple will also be surprising the viewing public with interesting stories, having spent $1 billion in its content creation. It is reported that Apple has tapped A-list actors, such as Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon, to star in their first batch of offerings. According to recent updates, it will launch in the last quarter of 2019.