Both Apple TV+ and Disney+ are live and, in the case of the latter, have seen millions sign up for the service int their first few days. So is Netflix dead as so many armchair critics predicted? Not even close.
Relatively unaffected in the wake of those launches, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos appeared at the Paley Center’s International Council Summit in New York this week and says he isn’t concerned about the company toppling anytime soon from the new competition.
“We’ve been competing with Disney and all these other folks who are coming into this from the beginning. For us, nothing really changes. We’ve always been customer-first and we don’t really get distracted by competition.
We figured at some point everyone would get into this business. [I’m] frankly surprised it took Disney and other people this long to go down this path. It’s a hard change. These companies that have been built on making and selling content to other people, can they actually make more money or do better in business selling it directly to the consumer?…It’s a hard bet, and it’s a bet-the-farm one.”
Netflix remains easily the dominant force in Streaming Wars and Sarandos thinks one advantage is consumer interests change over time and Netflix creates original content that isn’t tied down to specific ‘universes’:
“I do think the risk of being bound in a few universes is that there sometimes may be a melting ice cube of interest over time. You have to keep reinventing, which is great. But I like the ability to keep reinventing across the platforms, across the universes, across programming ideas and programming verticals, without the constraints of a handful of universes.”
The Netflix user base is over 125 million worldwide at present. Disney+ claims to have scored 10 million signups in its first few days.