Analysts still bullish on Netflix despite Disney challenge, Q2 warning

Disney, dropping Netflix as its major paying customer and poised to take down all its content from the latter by 2019 in favor of its own Disney+ subscription service, is reportedly spending billions in setting up shop.

But the company reduced its earnings guidance for the second quarter from $0.99 per share to $0.55, prompting the initial sell-off.

The streaming service is launching an experiment in the United Kingdom in the second quarter of the year that will release a weekly top ten list of its shows across different programming categories. "While it is smaller than Netflix, we think the Disney+ library will be deeper in terms of quality".

"Consumers will continue to opt for OTT services, but as Netflix continues pushing to these new audiences both in the USA and internationally, only time will tell if they can maintain their subscription base and rapid growth alongside alternatives that can offer cheaper rates or exclusive access to premium content", said Lawrence.

Netflix's Q1 revenue hit $4.8 billion, beating Wall Street expectations of $4.5 billion. It might be a bit unfair to compare the two new subscription services, especially since neither is available yet and both seem to have been inspired by Netflix's interface. Having a controlling stake in Hulu could allow Disney to provide another streaming home for the kind of Fox titles that are less family friendly than the content that they want to have on Disney+, so maybe we'll see more adult-oriented titles ending up over there.

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Yesterday US communication giant AT&T announced that they have sold its 10% minority stake in Hulu - now majority owned by Disney, with the rest held by Comcast - back to the streaming-video joint venture for $1.43 billion.

Netflix bosses have promised to reveal more data around the viewership of its programming after reporting a 22% revenue rise for Q1, 2019. "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", it wrote in a letter to shareholders. "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 (similar to how USA cable networks collectively grew for years as viewing shifted from broadcast networks during the 1980s and 1990s)". Disney last week announced its foray into streaming with Disney Plus - whose content Netflix will no longer have access to - for just $6.99 per month. The monthly payment for the basic plan is as low as 6,500 won ($5.70) when consumers limit the use of service to mobile devices. But as we gleaned from the company's overhyped presentation last month, Apple had little to show us beyond those famous faces.

Sarandos said: "We are trying to get to a place where we can be a lot more transparent both with our producers and with our customers, who are incredibly interested in making better choices".

Last month, Netflix's VP for content Bela Bajaria began to lead the platform's global non-English TV originals.

  • Michelle Webb