The Video-Streaming Wars in 2019: Can Disney Catch Netflix?
Bob Iger, chief executive officer of entertainment conglomerate Disney, thrilled investors with details about Disney's upcoming foray into video streaming in April 2019. Disney's move was only the latest in a series of actions taken by new and established entertainment companies in a fight for dominance in the video-streaming-subscription space. Netflix, led by chief executive officer Reed Hastings, had established an early foothold in that market after entering in early 2007, amassing 140 million subscribers worldwide by early 2019 and spending $10 billion on content annually. Now, Disney was joining the fray with its signature service, Disney+, after first collaborating with other broadcasters in establishing Hulu, later buying up a majority stake in that service, and launching sports-content subscription service ESPN+. The battle for what many industry observers regarded as the future of the television business was truly on. Had Iger and his team of executives found the right formula to unseat Netflix as the leader in video streaming? Was there room for both players in the marketplace? Or would Hastings and his team at Netflix need to respond in some way to the looming threat posed by Disney?