Is Disney About to Repeat Netflix’s Mistake?

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Disney has ruled over Hollywood in one form or another for decades but seeing the success of Netflix, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video, Disney decided not to lag behind among the other streaming competitors and let users have all the fun in one window.

Thus, Disney pulled all the shows they had produced that were available on other streaming services and created Disney+. Though it is still region-locked. But there is nothing to worry about. Just like you can change Netflix region, you can also do it on Disney+ using a premium VPN service.

Despite that, so far, it has been wildly successful, especially with all Marvel movies being released digitally on the platform, which is a major source of revenue for them.

Disney+ is already one of the world’s biggest streaming services, despite not providing the global coverage that Netflix or Amazon Prime Video provides. By all means, it seems as though Disney+ is a roaring success. But will it stay that way? Disney+ seem like they are well on track to make a mistake that Netflix made. And it’s is still paying for it.

 In this blog, we will discuss this mistake and see what it holds for the future.

Netflix’s Mistake – Should Disney Follow In Its Footsteps?

?     A Little Background On Netflix’s Blunder

Netflix has been around for a long time and its prices have seen a gradual increase. It was small at first and people didn’t mind. But from 2014 to 2022, the prices have gone from a decent $7.99/month to $15.49/month. This increase has garnered it a lot of criticism.

 This, combined with Netflix’s increasingly harsh policies on its TV show renewal has seen its subscriber base take a huge plunge. In turn, this has made for lower revenue and profits, which has added an inkling of uncertainty to Netflix’s financial future.

All in all, while Netflix is still going strong, they will need to rethink strategies and bring the subscribers back otherwise these issues could snowball into something much worse. For the time being though, it doesn’t seem as though they have any intention of letting up with the price increases.

?      Disney’s Trajectory – How It’s Heading in The Same Direction

The bigger Netflix got, the more it had to maintain its image. The streaming service also had to support the growing Netflix studios, which were putting out movies and TV shows more and more frequently. To do that, they had to up the prices. And so, Netflix has seen that gradual increase to $15.49 in 2022 and the ultra-premium plan of $19.99.

 Disney’s subscriber base has grown rapidly. Despite being only almost three years old, its subscriber base has grown to a staggering 152.1 million users. Combine that with 46.2 million Hulu subscribers, which is majority-owned by Disney, and 22.8 million ESPN+ subscribers and you get a subscriber base of 221.1 million users, which beats Netflix’s user base of 220.7 million users. These numbers are hard to comprehend but they show incredible growth.

 Here’s where it might run into problems. Instead of just the single-tier subscription, Disney+ is adding a more premium package, which will cost $10.99. The original $7.99 package will still be there but it will have ads in it, which might anger a lot of users.

?  Disney’s Justification

Netflix has seen over six major increases from its original $7.99 price point in 2014. While these increases have seen uproar, there has been more uproar regarding its harsh content policies than anything.

Data suggests that the dent in Netflix’s subscriber base has not been due to its price increases, as people seem to be ok with price changes. Most have grudgingly accepted its price increases as the pros of access to its huge content library seem to outweigh any financial cons, such as a $19.99 premium-tier price tag.

 And while there might be trouble in the future, the public perception is that Netflix is still king and there hasn’t been any movement to suggest that that title is going anywhere yet.

Which is something that works in Disney’s favor, as they gear up for the price increase. Just like with Netflix, there isn’t anything to suggest that the price increase would hurt their viewership or subscriber base.

 There is also the content-based advantage that Disney has over Netflix. Its studio is still nascent. Compare that to the content Disney has put out for decades and made a name for itself, including the Marvel movies and TV shows that see digital releases every few months.

 All of this is set to give Disney+ that edge which will see them avoid any loss to their subscriber base that Netflix suffered.

Conclusion

So, is Disney+ heading in the same direction as Netflix? Yes. But are they about to make the same mistake as Netflix did? The data suggests that this is unlikely as they have certain advantages that Netflix didn’t 

Although nothing is for certain, it seems that Disney+ just might ride through the wave better than Netflix did.

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