by Graham Pierrepoint
Who would have thought – only a few years ago – that simple, affable DVD rental company Netflix would eventually become the MVP of home entertainment? The outfit has grown incredibly over the years to become one of the most popular brands worldwide, with the platform having adopted streaming of existing shows and movies at a time where box set binging was becoming a very real phenomenon. Since then, Netflix has ridden the storm and apparently seems set to change the way that we watch TV and movies for good. They’ve branched out into critically-acclaimed movies and TV over the last few years, and as such, they hold just as much power over viewer behavior and tastes as the major networks. It’s forced some networks into rethinking how they appeal to their audiences – and platforms such as Amazon and YouTube have stepped up in an effort to rival the once-fledgling service. To think that Blockbuster Video could once have gone this route and are now effectively extinct – is nothing short of phenomenal.
This past week, news emerged that Netflix had finally done the unthinkable – despite Disney retaining the rights to some of the box office’s biggest franchises (Star Wars and Marvel to name two) and with their animated films going from strength to strength, they have fallen behind the mighty home streaming service in terms of stock value. As of Friday 25th May, Netflix found itself valued at a staggering $152 billion – with Disney creeping alongside with around $151.8 billion to its name. It’s not much of a shift – admittedly – but while this may be the case, and while the markets may well have changed by the time you read this, it’s a moment that is nothing short of historic.
▶ Streaming Giant Netflix Now Worth More Than Disney, Comcast
Netflix reportedly rakes in subscriber fees from around 125 million people worldwide – that’s somewhere around 2% of the world’s population – and this also means that in the first quarter of 2018 alone, the service was able to make $3.6 billion. That’s fairly impressive to say the least – and, when measuring it up against Disney’s apparent domination of the box office globally, it’s not hard to see why the streaming service is squaring up against one of the US’ longest-standing entertainment institutions.
▶ Netflix Is Now More Valuable Than Walt Disney Co
We are amidst a golden age for video streaming – content on demand has never been more freely available – who’s to say where it will go from here?