Netflix CEO Reed Hastings recently discussed what he thinks about the upcoming launch of new rivals Apple TV+ and Disney+, as well as Netflix's plans to retain subscriber interest after their launches (via Variety). According to Hastings, "it's a whole new world starting in November," referring to the November 1 launch of Apple TV+ and November 12 launch of Disney+.
The CEO said that it will be "tough competition" for Netflix, but the company will continue on course with its core strategy of offering bingeable TV shows and movies. This means that Netflix isn't planning on trialing drastically different content types, like Amazon Prime Video is with live sports, or experimenting with different release models.
“While we’ve been competing with many people in the last decade, it’s a whole new world starting in November…between Apple launching and Disney launching, and of course Amazon’s ramping up,” said Hastings, who also cited NBCUniversal’s coming Peacock service. “It’ll be tough competition. Direct-to-consumer [customers] will have a lot of choice.”
There are now numerous standalone streaming services that vie for customer attention, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now, the upcoming HBO Max, CBS All Access, the upcoming NBC Peacock, Shudder, and many more.
Apple TV+ will launch November 1 with a handful of exclusive TV shows, including "The Morning Show," "Dickinson," "See," and "For All Mankind." Apple is making the service free for a full year for anyone who purchases an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod Touch, or Mac. Apple TV+ will cost $4.99/month otherwise.
Disney+ will launch November 12 with a huge back catalog of Disney films and tv shows, divided among the company's major brands: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. To entice early adopters, Disney even offered a sign-up deal that got you three years of the streaming service for the price of two. This brought the price of the service to just under $4/month, compared to its $6.99/month regular price tag.
Amid the emergence of so many new streaming services, Hastings pointed out that production costs for streaming-based TV shows would rise, thanks to companies like Apple and Disney now also purchasing valuable production space in highly sought after areas. According to Hastings, "Someday 'The Crown' will look like a bargain," referring to its popular historical drama series that might not be the most expensive show ever made, but is among the most expensive to be produced by Netflix.