Who Wins The Streaming War? Netflix Will 'Thrive' But Others Won't Make It, Disney Vet Says

Zinger Key Points
  • Former Disney CEO Bob Iger believes several streaming companies could thrive including Netflix and Disney.
  • Iger thinks some smaller streaming platforms could face tough times ahead.

Bob Iger led The Walt Disney Company DIS from 2005 to 2020 as CEO. During his 15 years at the helm, he oversaw the company through several large acquisitions (Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, 21st Century Fox) and also orchestrated the launch of the Disney+ streaming platform.

Disney+ now competes with a long list of streaming platforms. Among its major rivals are:

  • Hulu, which is majority owned by Disney
  • Netflix Inc. NFLX
  • Amazon.com Inc. AMZN
  • AppleTV from Apple Inc. AAPL
  • HBO Max from Warner Bros. Discovery WBD
  • Peacock from Comcast Corp CMCSA
  • And Paramount+ from Paramount Global PARAPARAA.

Iger expects some of these streaming companies will jockey for position, while others will simply not make it in the long run.

“I believe that Netflix is going to continue to thrive," Iger said at Vox Media’s Code Conference (per The Hollywood Reporter). "They have some issues now, but they’re not going away.”

See Also: Disney Drama - Why Bob Iger And Bob Chapek Are No Longer Friendly 

Iger is also “clearly a big believer” in Disney+, he added, citing its large intellectual property library and early success.

Iger also highlighted streaming platforms from Apple and Amazon.com. The speed at which the two technology giants developed their respective services surprised Iger.

“They’re not primary businesses for them and they’re measured, probably, by different standards in terms of bottom line, and they serve other purposes in those companies,” Iger said. “But they’re not going to stand pat. They’re going to continue to grow and they’ll grow well. They’ve got deep pockets.”

The former Disney CEO remained tight-lipped over which streamers he believed wouldn’t make it, but made a prediction on what’s to come:

“They’ve got some tough hands, and it takes a lot of capital to be in that business. I don’t think they’ll all make it.”

Why It’s Important: Iger's praise for Netflix is worth noting since it is likely the biggest rival to Disney+, a platform he helped launch.

It’s also no secret that Iger and current Disney CEO Bob Chapek don't get along, which could be why he didn’t hype Disney+ more.

See Also: Bob Iger Says Hiring Bob Chapek Was One Of His Worst Business Decisions

Iger had plans to slowly raise prices of Disney+ over time similar to what Netflix has done. He also wanted to target a $1 per month increase each year with the first price increase happening in 2021 when Iger was still the Disney chairman.

Disney+ unveiled new pricing details earlier this year with its streaming platform jumping $3 per month from $7.99 to $10.99 per month. An ad-supported plan will be priced at $7.99.

The new strategy from Chapek may not be well received by Iger and come in conflict to a plan he laid out for the success of the business before he left.

Since leaving Disney, Iger appears headed to the metaverse with his leadership role for a company working in the sector.

Earlier this year, Iger joined the board of directors of avatar technology company Genies, a company now valued at $1 billion.

“I was particularly interested in companies that were using technology for disruptive purposes and, where possible, the intersection between technology and creativity," Iger said.

DIS Price Action: Disney shares were down 0.3% to $112.33 on Thursday. It opened at $113.22 on Friday, Sept. 9.

Image: Shutterstock

Posted In: Bob ChapekBob IgerDisney+GeniesHBO MaxHuluNetflixPeacockstreaming platformsstreaming stocksEntertainmentNewsGeneral