Netflix Execs Call Disney+ Successes "Super-Impressive," Aims to "Maintain Their Lead" Over the Streamer

With Disney delivering audiences adventures from Marvel Studios, Star Wars, Pixar, and more, Disney+ has become home to the biggest theatrical accomplishments in history, with the streamer's popularity only continuing to grow each month, resulting in Netflix celebrating the competition's achievements, while also noting that they still maintain a lead over the year-old service. Netflix noted that, while it's hard to compete with the titles that Disney+ offers, the diversity of more adult-oriented fare is something that Disney+ will likely fail to ever match, but that the competitor's success will only compel them to work harder to excite subscribers.

“It’s super-impressive what Disney has done,” founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings shared during an earnings report, per Deadline. “It’s incredible execution for an incumbent to pivot … so that’s great. And it shows that members are interested and willing to pay more for more content because they’re hungry for great stories. And Disney does have some great stories.”

For more than a decade, Netflix has been the go-to destination for streaming subscribers, with the company itself being synonymous with the concept of streaming content. In subsequent years, platforms like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video have attempted to emulate the success of Netflix, with the relatively new Disney+ being able to give Netflix a run for their money based largely on the impressive library of titles found exclusively on that service, in addition to the various original programs they offer.

“It gets us fired up about increasing our membership, increasing our content budget and it’s going to be great for the world that Disney and Netflix are competing show by show, movie by movie," Hastings added. "We’re very fired up about catching them in family animation — maybe eventually passing them, we’ll see, a long way to go just to catch them — and maintaining our lead in general entertainment that’s so stimulating.”

One limit to Disney+'s success, however, is its content doesn't get more mature than the PG-13 realm, with Hastings citing a series like Bridgerton, one of the most talked-about series dominating social media in recent weeks, being something "I don’t think you’re going to see on Disney anytime soon.”

A report from last December, however, notes that if Disney+ continues to expand at its current rate, it could pass Netflix in subscriber count by 2022.


One complication, however, is that the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent quarantines around the world saw audiences consuming content on streaming services like never before, so it's unclear what 2021 will look like for movie fans and how streaming behavior changes going forward.

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