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Netflix prepares for war

This year should Netflix fight Disney and Apple. The American streamingpionier choose the flight forward, with even more invest in their own series and movies. A risky plan.

Netflix has been writing for several years an unlikely success story, but, to date, had the didn’t have to cope with competitors. HBO was stuck in an outdated model (pay-tv channels on …

Netflix has been writing for several years an unlikely success story, but, to date, had the didn’t have to cope with competitors. HBO was stuck in an outdated model (pay-tv channels on the cable), Amazon started out as a total newcomer in the videowereld with a solid backlog. In 2019 it is different, with Disney and Apple – and perhaps others – that their share of the pie want. How to prepare, Netflix is for? By even heavier to put on their own productions – content, as it is called. And that may seem a little cost.

At the announcement of the financial results, Thursday evening, picked up Netflix with some impressive figures. Not so much about the sales, because that fell even a little bit against it. But there were almost 9 million subscribers, there are now 139 million worldwide. Recently, shares of Netflix also occasional (carefully selected) audience, and that was Thursday the case: we know now that the youngest is 4 weeks 80 million Netflix users to the horror movie Bird box with Sandra Bullock. Netflix claims to be good for 10% of the viewing time for tv viewers in the US.

Price increase

What Netflix clearly not of wants is a price war. On the contrary: this week, Netflix announced that, in its Us home market, the rates increases. A add default subscription is 13 dollars instead of 11. The cheaper ‘basic’ subscription (without HD-quality with just one stream at a time) is 1 dollar more expensive, at $ 9. In the past, such a price increase fairly rapidly elsewhere in the world is made.

It seems that Netflix allows weggeraakt. “Digital subscriptions will eventually have only 2% of the gezinsbudgetten’, says economieprofessor Frederic Vermeulen of the university of leuven. According to the numbers from Statbel gifts Belgian families in 2016 monthly just 60 euros on digital tv services. And within that budget is 13 euro, not such a big chunk. In short: the Belgian can afford.

More importantly, the Netflix viewer, not really elsewhere. If the price rises to 13 euros, Telenet Play (12 euro) plots slightly cheaper. But the next season of Stranger things , you go there not to find. You will find the slotseizoen of HBO hit Game of thrones, but maybe that’s not your thing (different was you already Play customer).

‘It was written in the stars that Netflix first, the market wanted to occupy a large share of the market wanted to take and then the price gradually would increase, ” says Geert Wellens of Econopolis. According to him, has Netflix have no choice: Netflix has more content needed to battle for the viewer to continue to win and that costs money. Also Wellens believes that the Flemish viewer such a price increase will swallow. He believes that viewers may soon be for multiple streamingabonnementen choose and their subscription drop. It’s called cord-cutting, a phenomenon that in the US (where the tv cable is more expensive) for several years.

Apple and Disney

Of Disney we know now the plans: in the course of this year is Disney+ launched, that is probably slightly cheaper than Netflix. Disney develops new series on the basis of its strongest franchises, including the Star Wars franchise, The Mandalorian. But most of all: a number of movies and series from Disney and Marvel will Netflix disappear and to Disney+ move – one of the reasons that Netflix costs being hunted. In addition, it acquires Disney, as the planned acquisition of Fox continues, also the control over an existing streaming service: Hulu. That is similar to Netflix, but has a lot less of my own productions. On the other hand: Hulu can be free, if you’re willing ads to look. Hulu is now only in the USA on the market, but would soon internationally.

The plans of Apple are less clear. For several years, the company invests in video productions. At the beginning of January it became known that Apple is working with tv manufacturers like Samsung, Sony and LG so some of the new tv models will be able to watch videos from Apple – and thus probably also of the future streaming service of that company – to show. It is further assumed that the contents of the Apple streaming service very family friendly and one hypothesis is that owners of an iPhone (or other Apple device) will look.

There are even more great players who have aces to the subscribers of Netflix. Warner Media (recently the property of telecomreus AT&T) wants to pay-tv channels HBO expands to a full-fledged Netflix competitor, by films and series of other Warner companies such as Warner Bros to add. Already there is little chance that the service is soon to Belgium: Telenet expanded in november to its collaboration with HBO significantly, which suggests that, at least for a few years, the exclusivity on HBO’s topreeksen acquired.

Already active in Belgium, is Amazon with its Prime Video service, which is offered as part of a Prime subscription of $ 6 (which is also free deliveries for Amazon-purchased goods). And recently, the American station NBC also an initiative known: a service with especially NBC tv series such as The office and films of Universal. Or to Europe, is not clear.

Netflix did Thursday already its best to have all that competition to a minimum. The pc game Fortnite is a more important competitor than HBO, was in a letter to shareholders.

Risky

According to Geert Wellens is the biggest threat to Netflix is not at Disney, Apple or Amazon, but with its own investment policy. In the coming year will Netflix again $ 3 billion to spend more than it receives, in order to even more of its own content to produce. That is an investment in the future, because the series and movies continue later years to raise money. But it also means that Netflix constantly looking for fresh money. “They can do that but continue to do so, as long as their price remains high and interest rates low,” says Wellens. If interest rates rise and the stock markets get a hit, can Netflix all of a sudden, very hard to get, he predicts.

A few months ago, popped up a plan on which all Flemish channels would work together on a ‘Flemish Netflix’, but that plan is shot by Telenet, that everything is bet on his own Play. Because it looks not so good for the Flemish audiovisual landscape, fear Wellens: “I expect that Netflix continues to strengthen, also with us, and that they will invest more in Flemish content. But if the best Flemish content on Netflix, will that not be good for the Flemish stations and threatens our landscape to verschralen.’

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