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11/21/2019

The Netflix library currently has over 5,800 titles available for U.S. subscribers. Disney+ is hovering below 800 available titles following its launch this month.

The announcement of Disney+ probably scared a lot of people at Netflix. There's no doubt that Disney, one of the world's most powerful entertainment companies, could make a competitive streaming service with the flip of a switch.

And while we have so far enjoyed Disney+ as an addition to the growing number of streaming services we are subscribed to, it doesn't appear to be the “Netflix Killer” it was billed to potentially be.

Comparing just the library sizes, Netflix currently has over 5,800 titles available in the streaming library, a mix of television shows, movies, and Netflix originals.

Disney+ launched announcing they would stream 500 movies and 7,500 episodes of television. While at first glance, the number appears substantial, it is important to note the mention of total television episodes and not show titles. With an entire season of a television show containing between 10-25 episodes each, that 7,500 number dwindles down into low triple digits when we're comparing the total number of television titles available on the service, especially when counting shows like The Simpsons, with 30 seasons.

Comparing Netflix and Disney+ total library sizes:

  • Netflix touts approximately 5,800 unique titles on their streaming library
  • Netflix currently has over 3,900 movies and over 1,800 TV titles [1]
  • Disney currently has under 800 unique titles available for streaming [2]

Quality over quantity?

While the Netflix library is a lot bigger than Disney's, it's worth discussing that perhaps Disney is launching with an overall higher quality list of titles.

There's no doubt that Disney has the intellectual property to compete with a high-quality portfolio of shows and movies. And of course ownership of the Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars universes is a major advantage over Netflix and other competitors.

But as Netflix has seen over the years, producing consistently new and fresh original content is extremely expensive and difficult [3]. In this day and age, the television consumer expects a constant stream of high quality entertainment, and any slowdown in production can result in cancellations. Conversely, as Disney has seen with Star Wars IP, too much production can create consumer fatigue. They will have to find their own balance as they explore expansion in the streaming market.

But what about the price point?

Another advantage of Disney+ is that they're at an almost impossibly low price point, at least to start. Netflix subscriptions vary between $10-15 a month these days, while Disney+ came out of the gate at $7 per month. It's almost a no-brainer to sign up for their service at that price. But can they maintain such a low price as content prices increase and competition continues to grow for streaming talent?

We're sure Disney is going to raise prices in the coming years, after the initial marketing hype captures as many subscribers as possible, and this can slow growth.

Analysts are saying Disney+ isn't currently shaping up to be a Netflix killer just yet [4], but of course it's still early. Disney+ is saying they have seen over ten million signups in just the first couple of days, and while certainly an impressive number for the launch of a new service, it's still a far cry from Netflix's 130 million global subscribers.

Streaming services are all fighting for our attention now, and there is no doubt that this is the future of entertainment. There is room for several major services to play nicely for all of us consumers to enjoy. But there is going to be a point where we are all tired of subscribing to a half-dozen different services to watch what we want. With that in mind, it's crucial to hit the trifecta of remaining at a good price, offering high quality content, and making sure there is plenty of it available.

Sources:

 

Sean Porter is a data scientist interested in a great story. He lives with his wife and three (yes three) dogs. On the weekend you can find him in the mountains, either skiing or climbing.