Why Netflix Continues to Shrug Off Looming Threats From Disney and Apple

Sean Burch

If Netflix is worried about the armada of new streaming competitors coming its way, its executives didn’t show it on Wednesday when the company reported its third-quarter earnings. In fact, the biggest takeaway was Netflix’s defiant tone. Is the company concerned about Disney+ and Apple TV+ — both launching next month — as well as HBO Max and NBCU’s Peacock luring away viewers? No, not really.  Is Netflix worried it won’t be able to raise prices, since these new entrants are priced so far below its Standard and Premium packages? Nope, that’s not a concern, either. Whether that’s bluster or foresight, only time will tell. At one point during the company’s video earnings call, CEO Reed Hastings smirked as he pointed out Disney+ and Apple TV+ will launch within two weeks of one another “after 12 years of not being in the market.” Disney is “going to be a great competitor,” and Apple is “just beginning, but they’ll probably have some great shows, too,” he continued, before adding they’re all still competing with linear television — the same industry that’s experiencing record losses. This was hours after Netflix downplayed the threat from new competitors in its letter to shareholders. The...

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