by Ray Keating
March 6, 2019
A J.P. Morgan analyst is bullish – really bullish – on the number of subscribers who will sign up for Disney+. And it’s hard to disagree.
As reported by CNBC, the analyst expects Disney+, which is scheduled to come online later this year, to eventually acquire 160 million global subscribers. That, by the way, would top Netflix’s 139 million.
The analyst, Alexia Quadrani, wrote, “Our confidence in the resilient success of Disney+ comes from the company's unmatched brand recognition, extensive premium content, and unparalleled ecosystem to market the service.” She also noted, “Disney has already shown some disposition to forego short-term revenues in order to develop the streaming business, by pulling content from Netflix once its contract expires at the end of the calendar 2018 film slate.”
MarketWatch also noted that Quadrani expects 75 percent of U.S. households with children under age 18 to sign up, and that “30% of U.S. families without children will sign up for the service due to the presence of Marvel and Star Wars content.”
There have been more than a few voices of doubt as to whether or not Disney can seriously compete with Netflix. I find such skepticism bewildering given the vast content that Disney already owns, how much of that IP has not really been tapped yet, and its near-century-long experience of creating content.
Some might say that Netflix enjoys a kind of first-mover advantage. But streaming services are not about the technology per se at this point – as it advances across the array of telecommunications services – but instead are about the content. Disney has the content, and it’s the favorite to become the streaming market leader.
Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels, with the three latest books being , and . He can be contacted at .