Streaming war between Netflix and Disney heats up

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Monday, 15 April 2019, 9:47AM
Netflix's stock took a hit after Disney announced their rival. (Photo / Supplied)

Consumers are likely to be the beneficiaries of a new streaming war between Netflix and Disney.

Shares in Disney have reached a record high after the company announced an aggressive plan to take on Netflix.

While Netflix Inc. lost as much as US$8 billion ($11.8b) in market capitalization in a few minutes of trading on Walt Disney Co.'s news of its upcoming, and cheaper, rival streaming service, Disney went the opposite way.

Its shares jumped to a record high, adding as much as US$25b in market value, for a total of about US$235b.

Disney unveiled details of the service last week, saying it would launch November 12  in the USat a price of US$7 a month, or US$70 a year. That undercuts Netflix, whose most popular US plan costs about US$11 a month.

The service aims to draw in subscribers by running at a loss in its early years.

JMI Wealth director Andrew Kelleher told Mike Yardley consumers will get access to a huge library of ad-free HD content, for half the cost of a standard Netflix subscription.

"The service will be popular with consumers, but may not be profitable for Disney. Even Disney themselves admit it's hard to be profitable in the extremely crowded and competitive streaming market.

The service will include content Pixar, Stars Wars, Marvel, National Geographic, and more than 7,000 TV episodes, including all episodes of The Simpsons. 

Disney has earned more than $35 billion at the Box Office for movies produced over the last 12 years. 

There is currently no release date for New Zealand, but it is expected to be within two years of the US launch. 

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