Is Netflix really in trouble?
I just read this great piece from Forbes. The reasoning is perfect and factual.
Netflix is accumulating debt experimenting with new content (and I would add, it’s missing out on great pop culture already lost to Sky and Amazon, mostly) while Disney already has the best in its arsenal, just waiting to be published on Disney+ in a few months.
There’s no question that the danger is there. But what will happen?
Well, that’s largely up to Disney’s strategy. We already know that Marvel content won’t be up there from the beginning. Disney has stated that Disney+ will feature family content (at launch, at least). That’s little danger to Netflix. Next is that Disney+ will be US only, while Netflix is global twice over.
But the main question is whether Disney will forget cable and let it die. Cable is dying, no question about it. But Disney is still heavily invested in cable and there are licensing contracts all around. Will Disney borrow from Marvel’s vision and take a page from the Netflix book and let cable die? Or will it hang on to it as long as it can (translation: keep licensing contracts on cable and off Disney+, at least for a while)?
Either way, Netflix has much more than a few months to adapt. If Disney hangs on to cable (very likely), Netflix probably has years to come.
But Netflix can’t sleep soundly. Amazon has the top 3 pop culture features coming soon (Lord of the Rings series, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time and The Dark Tower). HBO has His Dark Materials (Game of Thrones sequels and prequels notwithstanding) and Netflix is left with a questionable Witcher implementation as well as the Christian undertoned Chronicles of Narnia (whose previous adaption was a great flop, so there’s extra ill will to get through).