By Ellee Tomaru
Two is company and three’s a party… but what is more than three? Competition. Netflix is being bombarded with not three but five rising streaming competitors: Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, Prime Video and HBO Max, and Hulu plus. What once was a solo market is being flooded with content, so how will Netflix hold under the growing pressure? Netflix, the original streaming service from 2007, has held all the power in the streaming world until recently. Luckily, Netflix has three main factors on it’s side: Netflix Originals, a wide variety of content, and the decline of cable.
A large source of Netflix’s attraction is its addictive original content. This is a key component because in 2018, 57 percent of streaming consumers said that they had subscribed to access original content. Netflix originals such as Stranger Things and Black Mirror have people hooked. What makes these originals so original, to say the least, is that they are catered to a specific audience, rather than attempting to satisfy a wide audience. Many plotlines of other TV shows are told through a filter, needing approval from various audiences. The creators of Netflix Originals are able to create content to cater to a specific viewer. Forbes found that “an approximate 13% of ex-Netflix users signed up again to watch the third season of Stranger Things.” People would rather re-subscribe to Netflix than miss a season of the action-packed Stranger Things. According to Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, around 85% of Netflix’s spending will be going towards new original content–around $8 billion. So we should begin to see a myriad of original content coming our way which will inevitably keep Netflix relevant into future decades.
Netflix is also suitable for any age range or types of interest, unlike Disney Plus. While I can count all the types of content Disney Plus has released on my one hand (Disney Originals, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic), “Netflix’s originals slate for 2018 includes 80 films, ranging from “sub-indie” low-budget pictures to ‘100 million blockbusters.’” Netflix is an endless library offering over 13,300 films and tv shows worldwide. That’s another advantage that Netflix has over the competition. Netflix is experienced. Netflix is on a global level. Netflix is on an adaptable degree. Most of these newer streaming services such as Disney Plus are still testing the waters and are limited globally. For instance, Disney Plus currently is only offered in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico. On the other hand, Netflix is available globally in over 190 countries. Additionally, Netflix is adaptable to all types of streaming devices such as Rokus, Chromecasts, Fire TV Sticks, Game Consoles, phones, tablets, smart TVs, laptops, Blu-ray players, and cable box providers such as Dish, RCN, and Xfinity. This wide variety of content, countries, and capacity gives Netflix the accessibility that most streaming services lack.
And lastly, Netflix should not be concerned about their relevance or revenue in the oncoming years because luckily for them, cable is on the decline. No one has the patience to sit through commercials anymore. Everyone is switching to subscription streaming services. It’s not a question of which, but how many. According to Market Watch, the average monthly cable bill of 2019 was $157, while most popular streaming platforms are under $20 a month. Given that everyone has become obsessed with binging TV shows and watching select movies, cable TV has become a thing of the past. Conclusively, people will be willing to spend the $157 budgeted for cable on multiple streaming services to escape the ads and tailor to their specific interests. This projection has already taken action as Deloitte Insight’s survey from 2019 found that a higher percentage of households subscribe to a streaming service rather than traditional pay TV and 44% of respondents said that “no ads” was the reason they switched over to streaming services. Fortunately for Netflix, with the decline of traditional tv services already beginning, consumers already pay for an average of 3 streaming services and with Netflix being the largest, they should not fret about losing subscribers just yet. With the added benefit of having name recognition, Netflix is an easy choice for consumers when switching over from cable.
Conclusively, Netflix will stand strong with their addictive originals, range of attraction, and the decline of cable. So what if there is growing competition?