Netflix and Disney +: slow growth after an exceptional year 2020


Companions of the long days spent at home in 2020, the major video streaming services are now showing the blow while the very gradual return to normal is underway.

Is there life after the health crisis? This is the delicate question that will have to be answered by Netflix and Disney +, the two largest global subscription video-on-demand (sVOD) platforms. Both streaming services show a decline in subscriber growth in the first quarter. Netflix announced that it had reached 208 million customers at the end of March, a figure up 14% from the previous year at the same time. Far from the forecasts of the company which counted on a total of 210 million. As for Disney +, we reached 103.6 million subscribers, a volume there as well far from the consensus of analysts (109 million).

Far from predictions

The boss of Disney, Bob Chapek, however wanted to put the disappointment into perspective, recalling that the sVOD service had recruited 29.9 million customers during the first six months of the group’s fiscal year. In addition, Disney + has crossed the threshold of 100 million customers in 16 months, against… 10 years for the great rival Netflix! The sudden rise of Disney + is largely the result of containment measures last year. Analysts agree, however, that Netflix could emerge victorious over time, thanks to exclusive content.

Content comes first

If the releases of new products must have slowed down in recent months due to the pandemic, the pace will accelerate with the return to normal for productions. Netflix invests tens of billions of dollars in content creation. On the side of Disney +, it is less packed despite the upcoming contribution of several series and Marvel content. Disney also has to face other challenges, whether for the cinema business or its theme parks.