Netflix is no longer the streaming overachiever, having failed to come near industry expectations for first-quarter subscriber numbers, and now Disney’s idea to jump into the streaming wars seems like a pretty good idea.
On Tuesday, Netflix reported 4 million new subscriptions for the first quarter, well below the 6 million that Netflix and Wall Street analysts had projected.
The company now carries 207.6 million subscriptions overall.
Last month, Disney said its streaming service has reached 100 million global subscribers, at the time surpassing half the audience of Netflix in just 16 months.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings addressed the competition during the earnings call.
“Our largest competitor for TV viewing time is linear TV,” he said, referring to traditional scheduled TV programming. “Our second largest is YouTube, which is considerably larger than Netflix in viewing time.
“And Disney is considerably smaller — we’re sort of in the middle of the pack,” he said, adding that “there’s no real change that we can detect in the competitive environment.”
The company said second-quarter paid users will grow by just 1 million.
“I think people are going to start to see that the jig is up on Netflix,” New Constructs CEO David Trainer told Yahoo Finance. “It’s just not nearly a profitable enough enterprise to compete with the likes of the movie studios, and in particular Disney, which has multiple ways to monetize content. Netflix has one way – streaming over the internet.”
Netflix, in a letter to investors on Tuesday, said, “We continue to anticipate a strong second half with the return of new seasons of some of our biggest hits and an exciting film lineup. “
Company shares, trading at almost $560 Tuesday morning, sank about 10% in late trading following the results and were at $510 early Wednesday afternoon ET.