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Pop Loser No. 105

by Tyler Hellard


Disneyflix Is Coming. And Netflix Should Be Scared

I have many kids. If you have many kids, there is no way you won't sign up for Disney's streaming service, with every scrap of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, etc. content that exists. You probably don't even need kids. But with Disney's size and scope, it opens a lot of possibilities for content distribution. 

And it's worth wondering even if the comparison is kind of bad: Is Netflix going to end up like Flickr? 

What if Disney bypassed the middlemen and put a highly anticipated film like Black Panther on its streaming service the same day it opened in theaters—or made the film exclusive to subscribers? In the short term, sacrificing all those onetime ticket buyers might seem financially ruinous. But the lifetime value of subscriptions—which renew automatically until actively canceled—quickly becomes profound. If the film’s debut encouraged just over 4 million people to sign up for an annual subscription to a $10-a-month Disneyflix product—about the same number of subscribers that Netflix added the quarter it debuted its original series House of Cards—Disney would earn a net revenue of nearly $500 million in just the first year. Black Panther was a massive hit as a theatrical release; it could have been even bigger had it been used to transform onetime moviegoers into multiyear Disneyflix subscribers.


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