Everyone wants to have as many subscribers as possible, but with different goals and models to achieve each one. The proliferation of digital platforms for audiovisual content does not seem to end, which creates in the audience the feeling that it is impossible to be aware of the entire offer. Disney and Apple, two giants in the entertainment and technology industry, will launch their streaming content services in November. And in 2020, the telecommunications company AT&T will launch HBO Max as part of its telephony offer (as Movistar + does in Spain) and the open network NBC will imitate CBS with its own original content space. When the first two offers were announced, dozens of news headlines anticipated the end of Netflix's leadership. The question is whether all these services compete in the same league.
"Despite being different, and in some cases even courteous, and entering the market for different reasons and with different ambitions, the truth is that in the end they will compete to attract and retain subscribers," says Judith Clares, director of the title. of Communication of the Open University of Catalonia, reminding that, even so, between the platforms there are differences in business, target audience, territory and origin.
"The starting point is that, of all the platforms that exist, there is none like Netflix, a company whose only commercial object is the transmission of content," said Elena Neira, author of The Other Screen. Social networks, mobiles and the new television. “Netflix earns money with a flat fee that provides streaming content on demand. The rest are companies in which transmission is an additional line of business to the activities that are part of a large business conglomerate. This explains that obscene investment in Netflix content, "he adds.
Disney + will launch in the United States in November with a catalog of its best products and the promise of numerous original series and movies based on its characters and the bottomless chest of Marvel and Star Wars. It will arrive in Spain in 2020. Disney CEO Robert Iger said in an interview with NBC in August that his goal is to "make a dent" in a market where "there is enough room for both," referring to Netflix.
Iger explained after the purchase of Fox by his company that they would focus the content of their platform on the family audience and keep Hulu for productions aimed at the adult audience. "For Disney, the goal is families, not just children," says Neira. “We are talking about an intellectual property that has an enormous capacity to travel generationally. It is a company that knows the full exploitation of its property because it is capable of capturing children from a young age with cartoons and gradually introducing them to adult content, ”he says.
"Saving the distances, Disney + will leave in a similar situation where Netflix was around 2013 when it started producing original content. It is impossible to get to the Netflix content rotation, but they do not have to, because streaming is not their main business, "argues this specialist. For Disney, the portal is a line of business since it is present in cinema, television, music, games, finance and theme parks, ”agrees Clares. That presence can give the most outstanding aspect of the supposed rivalry with other services: "The most interesting thing that will happen is the window, that is why Disney can profoundly change the rules of the game." What will happen when Disney releases a new Avengers movie? Will you wait for the traditional period to exploit subscription services? Will you respect the windows of digital selling? Will sales continue to explode on pay TV? Or will you take the opportunity to launch it as soon as possible on your platform? The target audience already has it. "Disney is an option where you are looking for something very specific, Netflix is a default option that you go to when you turn on the TV," adds Neira.
Apple The case is also different. After several failed music and video projects, the creator of the iPhone will launch its platform in November worldwide with the intention of viewing its products on their devices (although they can also be enjoyed on desktop computers). “Its content is a drop in an ocean of economic activity. They come out with seven original fictions to be serialized, three game episodes, and then once a week. They are not looking for a beastly intensity of consumption as Netflix pursues, which interests them that the user is connected as many hours as possible, "explains Neira. "At the demolition price (5 euros) and giving away the subscription if you buy a device of yours, that strategy will grow very fast,
by Amazon, the content of streaming services is an additional activity for your real business: online commerce. "They make money as a store to the point that they are giving away Amazon Main video (it comes by default when hiring the Prime option with free shipping and many people don't know it has it). JRR Tolkien's heirs chose Amazon Prime Video to make series inspired by The Lord of the Rings for, among other things, the possibility of selling millions of books, toys and movies of the saga.
Either platform could abandon the streaming service business if you don't press the key and remain successful with your true business goals. Except for Netflix.
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