Jan 27, 2020

The next phase in the streaming wars begins

Reproduced from CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

Netflix is the No. 1 streaming service in terms of the number of current users, capturing 64% of respondents in a recent survey of U.S. adults. But its future growth is much less certain, according to new data from CivicScience.

Why it matters: Since the start of the year, Netflix stock has caught fire again, outpacing Disney's stock by almost 13% year to date — up 7.9%, with Disney off by 4.6%.

  • Netflix beat market expectations for overall subscriber growth in Q4, but again fell short of expected growth in the United States.

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Exclusive: Netflix reveals its 9 government takedown requests

Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

Netflix has taken down just nine pieces of content around the world in response to written government demands since it was founded 23 years ago, the company revealed for the first time.

Why it matters: As Netflix aims to grow its business abroad, it wants to be transparent about the way it handles censorship efforts in markets it looks to invest in.

Disney says Disney+ has 26.5 million subscribers

Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Disney's stock rose Tuesday after revealing that its new streaming service, Disney+, now has 26.5 million paid subscribers. It also said that ESPN+, its sports streaming service, now has 6.6 million subscribers, up from 3.5 million in November.

Why it matters: Disney's strong showing shortly after it debuted its streaming service last November shows that it will be a formidable competitor to Netflix in the streaming wars.

Hulu CEO Randy Freer stepping down

Randy Freer. Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Hulu

Hulu CEO Randy Freer is exiting the company, as Disney looks to further consolidate the streaming service into its own streaming department, Disney said in a statement on Friday.

Why it matters: The move is part of a greater integration of 21st Century Fox assets into the Walt Disney Company. Disney purchased most of Fox's entertainment assets last year for $71 billion. In a statement, Disney said that Hulu executives will now report directly into Disney's direct-to-consumer department business leads.