Apple or Netflix? Who has the better streaming service?

Posted April 18, 2019

Investing.com, senior analyst Haris Anwar, said investors are nervous because there are indications of a slowdown in the Q1 subscriber growth. They hadn't made any comment until after the Disney+ and Apple TV+ announcements.

Wall Street sent shares of the streaming titan down 1 percent in late trading as the company estimated second-quarter paid subscriber adds of 5 million, down 8 percent over past year. The drop is likely due to weak guidance for the next quarter as its subscriber growth slows and as its pricing increases.

Apple's offering will launch this fall, but it has not yet revealed a price for the service or said exactly how many shows it will have at launch.

The company had started developing potential shows for the service long back and many of them hails from Star Wars, Pixar, and Marvel.

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Netflix seems fairly nonchalant about the arrival of TV services from Apple and Disney.

In a message to its shareholders, Netflix conceded the most recent quarter saw "some modest short-term churn effect" after it had raised subscription prices in some territories. All this content will certainly make Disney+ a more attractive service and Disney CEO Bob Iger admits that the content was the reason Disney bought Fox. The company burned through another $460 million in the quarter and expects its negative cash flow this year to exceed last year's total of a negative $3.5 billion. Netflix this month implemented price hikes in most of the countries in which it operates, testing customer loyalty, particularly as new services enter the streaming business at bargain prices.

Despite the revenue growth, Netflix's stock initially fell almost 4 percent in after hours trading Tuesday, due mainly to a lower than expected earnings per share (EPS) prediction for Q2. Consumers will benefitWhen Disney pulls its content from Netflix and other services to launch a competing service, who will benefit?

Regarding it as a "phenomenal start", Chief Executive Reed Hastings highlighted the achievement in a video interview on what was a record addition of subscribers for a single quarter in the company's history.

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Disney is viewed as one of Netflix's strongest rivals thanks to a broad portfolio of franchises popular with children - from Mickey Mouse to Marvel and Star Wars - and a brand trusted by parents.

Speaking of users, as part of the same announcement today Netflix confirmed it added 9.6 million members in the last quarter - this breaks down to include 1.74 million in the United States and 7.86 million elsewhere.

Conversely, when you're raking $4.5 billion a year, it's easy to become stuck in a creative rut when you have the assumption your reliable audience will always be there. The company earned 76 cents per share during the first quarter, 18 cents above the estimate among analysts polled by FactSet.

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