What's going on?
Disney pulled back the curtain on its video streaming service on Thursday – taking aim at its Oscar-winning rival, Netflix.
What does this mean?
Disney Plus will premiere later this year – and is priced to undercut a Netflix subscription. The House of Mouse is spending big to challenge Netflix’s 139 million-strong global subscriber horde and estimated $15 billion content spend this year. But Disney’s got some tricks up its Sorcerer’s Apprentice sleeve: it made the three top-grossing movies in 2016 and 2018, and the top two in 2017. Soon, its own-brand streaming platform will be the only place to watch them, as Disney yanks its Marvel and Pixar shows and movies off Netflix.
Last month, Apple sidestepped a head-to-head content war with Netflix. But Disney wants Netflix’s eyeballs – and poaching Netflix’s customers could rewind its stock’s 36% rise so far this year.
Why should I care?
For you personally: They’re all fighting over you.
Companies want to control the hours you spend in front of a screen daily (but you wouldn’t give up our three minutes together, would you? 😍). Multiplayer gaming phenomenon Fortnite’s already stealing time from Netflix – and another game by Chinese parent Tencent may yet up the ante, after it won now-rare approval from authorities on Thursday. And it’s not just Tencent: last month, Google announced a new video game streaming service, Stadia, which may grow YouTube into a gaming and esports hub that helps Google further dominate online advertising.
For markets: Don’t count out Snapchat just yet.
Snap Inc’s stock has more than doubled this year, partly thanks to it stemming an exodus of users and convincing naysayers who’d previously bet the stock would fall to reverse their positions. Last week, Snap announced new features for Snapchat, including exclusive games and more original video content – likely hoping to attract new users and keep existing ones Snapping for longer.