Ever since streaming services have been a thing, Netflix has been in complete and total control of the industry. To some folks, Netflix and streaming services as a whole are one in the same. However, Disney+ launched earlier this week and took the country by storm, gaining 10 million subscribers in its first 24 hours of existence. That's not nearly enough to compete with Netflix just yet, but it's a great start, especially since the service costs half as much as its rival. Disney+ also has a roster of bankable original IP in its corner, with franchises like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe on its roster. Titles like those are hard to compete with, but Netflix believes they don't leave a lot of room for free-thinking decision making, and that they could potentially hinder Disney+ down the road.
Earlier this week, Netflix Chief Creative Officer Ted Sarandos took the stage at the Paley Center's International Council Summit, interviewed by comedian and SNL star Chris Redd. In response to all of the high-profile IP on Disney+, Sarandos explained that the freedom Netflix is allowed by not being tied to certain properties will allow it to thrive.
“All of the IP we have on Netflix that’s original is created IP, sometimes out of whole cloth or sometimes from a book or something, but not universes that we feel bound by,” he said. “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.”
Disney+ instantly became Netflix's top competitor after it launched this week, and Sarandos said that he was genuinely surprised it took the House of Mouse so long to dive into streaming. It looks like he's been anticipating this rivalry for quite a while now.
“[I'm] frankly surprised it took Disney and other people this long to go down this path. It’s a hard change," he added. “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.”
Do you prefer Netflix or Disney+? Which one do you think will be more successful in the long run? Let us know in the comments!