Forum Key Insights

Walt Disney Co – Streaming Update

  • Public Equity
  • TMT
  • North America

Last month, Third Bridge Forum spoke to a former senior executive at The Walt Disney Company to discuss the continued rollout of Disney+ and ESPN+, as well as its competitive positioning vs Netflix and Amazon Prime. Here are the need-to-know insights from that Interview:

  • The specialist said Disney has surpassed many of its goals for streaming growth. However, they told us for it to attain 200 million total subscribers, it must consider broadening its content to appeal to more adult audiences. 
  • We heard that while Hulu is a good home for content that does not fit Disney+’s child-friendly focus, it’s unclear if Hulu has a long -term home with Disney given its lack of reinvestment. 

 “I don’t fully believe that [Netflix’s] ad product is going to ever really scale… because that is a huge DNA shift and huge operational change… I would not be surprised if they pull the plug on it.”

  • Proposed plans by Netflix to introduce an ad-tier is unlikely to impact Disney, according to the specialist. This is primarily because they believe Netflix may struggle to launch an offering so different from its core business. 
  • Meanwhile, the specialist said password sharing could harm Disney’s streaming revenue, but it’s unlikely to crack down like Netflix has unless its subscriber growth slows substantially. 
  • We were told a key risk for Disney is that past subscriber growth came around the conclusion of key franchises such as Marvel and Star Wars – uncertainty remains about how the next content phase will fare in drawing or retaining subscribers.

For more human insights on Disney+, click on the transcript below.

Related Transcripts

The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.

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