What is the biggest name in online streaming of TV shows and movies? Take a guess. Come on. Try. You can do it. [still waiting] If you answered Netflix then you nailed it. That may change, but Netflix dominates.
Who else wants a piece of the pie that Netflix baked? Everybody. From YouTube to YouTube TV, from Sling TV to Amazon Prime Video, from Sony PlayStation Vue to whatever AT&T calls there service today, Netflix is the big piece of the pie. What about Apple TV+? What about Disney+?
If size matters, and it does, then numbers matter, and in business, it’s important to look for the big numbers. Apple’s iPhone has small marketshare numbers, but very large revenue and profit numbers. Which are the most important? It’s that last one.
Netflix probably has 160-million or so paying subscribers. As to users, well, that number is much higher because of password sharing, but you get the idea. Netflix is big. How big?
Think of it this way. The major TV networks in the U.S. have programming which runs morning until night, but the big audiences are reserved for early evening hours, roughly two hours between 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM (different in different time zones, of course). How many TV shows is that? From three to five? Seems reasonable. Seven nights a week, and a total of [fakes calculation] about 28 per network.
Netflix alone plans 73 new original movies and shows. In November alone. Added to all the current original movies and TV shows. Added to the thousands of reruns from other networks and content producers.
That means Netflix content is freakin’ huge, and something of a bargain at whatever price they charge these days.
Apple TV+ will have dozens of new movies and TV shows, too, with a debut set for November 1. Over time, Apple has the money to bankroll hundreds more, and with a customer base north of 1-billion, Apple has what few companies have. A loyal customer base.
Will Apple’s $4.99 price tag for TV+ cut into Netflix? Perhaps, but the streaming pie itself is getting larger– more people have cut the cable TV cord in recent years and moved to stream their content from online sources. Disney+ is about to enter the streaming wars, too, and that means a competitor to Apple TV+ but one with deep pockets and deep content.
It won’t matter.
Netflix is not doomed, but the number of choices has grown in recent years to include a list so long that I never heard of about half of them. Hulu? Yes. Sling TV, Amazon, and Sony, too. Even HBO Now and CBS All Access. What is fubo TV? What is Philo. Monthly rates range from $4.99 to $54.99 and beyond, so it won’t take long for a shakeout to begin.