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Netflix Just Reacted To The Imminent Arrival of Disney+

By GQ Middle East
17 April 2019
After Disney+ was unveiled with a lower than expected monthly subscriber fee, Netflix has hit back with force... kinda

While the streaming war of 2019 kicked into a higher gear last week with the official unveiling of the Disney+ service (and cheaper than expected basic fee of $6.99 per month), this week, Netflix responded…with the biggest price hike in its history.

As power moves go, it was an unusual one.

While it might appear an attempt to claw back a bit of cash – Netflix share price dropped by 2 percent following the Disney+ announcement, that’s around $3.2bn to you and me – the official line was that the capital will be ploughed directly back into original programming.

As the plan to increase prices in the UK, US, Brazil, Mexico and parts of Europe was revealed, a Netflix spokesperson explained that the change allowed it “continue investing in great entertainment and improving the overall Netflix experience for the benefit of our members.”

Disney has announced that it will be launching its own streaming service, Disney+, in November of this year, and not only will it be home to some of entertainment’s most iconic characters and shows, it set to be considerably cheaper than its already established rivals.

"I can say that our plan on the Disney side is to price this substantially below where Netflix is,” said Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “That is in part reflective of the fact that it will have substantially less volume."

Netflix screen

However, with record subscriber gains in Q1 of 2019, and more than 150m subscribers worldwide, the reality is that it’s going to be incredibly difficult for anybody to topple Netflix from its place at the top of the streaming charts.

Addressing the issue after the release of its first quarterly earnings of 2019 on April 16, Netflix welcomed the imminent arrival of Disney and Apple into the streaming market, saying “we’re excited to compete.

“We don’t anticipate that these new entrants will materially affect our growth because the transition from linear to on demand entertainment is so massive and because of the differing nature of our content offerings,” Netflix’s statement said. “We believe we’ll all continue to grow as we each invest more in content and improve our service and as consumers continue to migrate away from linear viewing.”

It is likely that Disney+ will appeal to new subscribers when it goes online in the US on November 12. For a start, the service will be home to many shows and franchises, such as Star Wars, Marvel and The Simpsons, which for long have been running on other platforms such as Apple TV.

Disney Plus, like Netflix, is set to be ad-free and will be available on Android and iOS.