Netflix reports record subscriber growth, welcomes Apple & Disney

The Mandalorian is a big-budget series produced by Jon Favreau which follows a lone gunfighter on the outer reaches of the galaxy.                  Lucasfilm

The Mandalorian is a big-budget series produced by Jon Favreau which follows a lone gunfighter on the outer reaches of the galaxy. Lucasfilm

That was below the 5.48 million consensus of industry analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Indeed, the second half of 2019 should be far more interesting for Netflix, as competition increases from Apple (AAPL), which plans on launching its Apple TV+ service later this year, as well as Disney's (DIS) own Disney+, due out mid-November.

Investing.com, senior analyst Haris Anwar, said investors are nervous because there are indications of a slowdown in the Q1 subscriber growth.

But shares fell after the United States giant it said it expected to add fewer subscribers - around 5 million- in the second quarter. Apple and Amazon are both beefing up their media services, and this week AT&T, the telecoms and media company that owns Time Warner's assets, sold its minority stake in rival streaming service Hulu.

Netflix, which hiked prices in January, highlighted David Attenborough's natural history show Our Planet as a particular recent success, with more than 25 million households watching.

Streaming giant Netflix posted a bumper set of figures last night - but warned fewer new subscribers will sign up in the coming months.

"Disney products reach 100 million households per year, which lowers Disney's customer acquisition costs", Martin said in a note to clients.

The company said it doesn't expect the price increase to trigger significant cancellations, though its second-quarter forecast implies otherwise.

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"As much as people love nostalgia, consumers are also looking for new, original storytelling and Netflix is spending billions on content to give them that", she said.

And Netflix believes there's still plenty of ground to gain.

The service, called Disney Plus, has no pricing yet.

Netflix said in its letter to shareholders that it doesn't "anticipate that these new entrants will materially affect our growth" because transitioning from "linear to on demand entertainment is so massive" and "because of the differing nature of our content offerings".

This strategy has resulted in a tripling of debt in just two years, from US$3.36 billion in 2016 to US$10.36 billion in 2018.

Disney says its brand newest video streaming service will launch in the U.S.as early as October. Overall earnings were $4.52 billion, slightly ahead of analyst estimates of $4.5 billion.

In comparison to the lower-than-expected Disney+ launch price, Netflix recently increased its prices in the us and now charges a minimum of $8.99 per month for the most basic level of access, and $12.99 per month for what many (including Netflix) would consider to be the standard plan. According to Netflix earnings per share will be $0.55 vs the $0.99 expected by analysts.

Martin said that in polling, USA customers say they plan to use only two or three streaming services and that as a result, any growth in Disney+ will significantly weaken Netflix.

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