Netflix unconcerned over losing licensed content as it boasts subscriber growth

Netflix unconcerned over losing licensed content as it boasts subscriber growth

Shares of Netflix traded down about 1 percent at $355.02 in after-the-bell trading. The drop is likely due to weak guidance for the next quarter as its subscriber growth slows and as its pricing increases.

Netflix added 28.62 million paid subscribers a year ago, a record, while spending more than $7 billion on programming, also a new high.

The Walt Disney Company is set to mount a major disruptive campaign in Australia with TV manufacturers and set top box manufacturers set to get access to a brand new Disney+ app.

"Consumers will continue to opt for OTT services, but as Netflix continues pushing to these new audiences both in the U.S. and internationally, only time will tell if they can maintain their subscription base and rapid growth alongside alternatives that can offer cheaper rates or exclusive access to premium content", said Lawrence.

In brief: The media powerhouse generated $4.5 billion in revenue, up from $3.7 billion in the same period a year ago. Its streaming service has grown at the same time that competitors HBO and Showtime have added customers. The streaming service even brought in a weekly billing system that costs just 1,625 won per week.

But competition is mounting. Netflix now has 148.8 million subscribers globally, 60.2 million of whom are from the US.

The guidance comes after Netflix's announcement in January that it will raise prices between 13 per cent and 18 per cent, with much of the change happening in the second quarter. The Hollywood streaming wars also led Netflix to predict an addition of 5 million new subscribers for the upcoming quarter (April to June), below the industry analysts' expectation of 5.48 million.

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We don't anticipate that these new entrants will materially affect our growth because the transition from linear to on demand entertainment is so massive and because of the differing nature of our content offerings.

But the biggest selling point of Disney+ may be its price.

"We believe Netflix can not win" such a war because of Disney's cost advantage from owning a vast amount of content. The company said it's been seen so far by more than 45 million member households - a metric that, as we've said in the past, is a little fuzzy since Netflix counts you as having "viewed" a movie or TV show if you watched at least 70 percent of it.

Additionally, Disney+ announced that all 30 seasons of The Simpsons will be available on the service on day one. The aggressive spending has led to a tripling of the company's debt in two years, to US$10.36-billion in 2018, from US$3.36-billion in 2016.

Both Disney+ and Apple TV are more family-focused in their content, a narrower focus that Barclay's analyst Kannan Venkateshwar contends actually works in Netflix's favor.

"We should do something to find a price tier that is lower than existing lowest-price tier, " he said.

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