In January of 2007, Netflix sent out its billionth DVD rental and launched its streaming service (source). Since 2007, the streaming model has taken over how we consume media. More and more companies are jumping on the model and no one was really surprised that Disney announced they would making their own streaming service. Disney is no longer just the Disney animation movies but now includes all of Star Wars, Pixar, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Business Insider broke it all down:
On Thursday, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that Marvel and 'Star Wars' movies would appear on Disney's upcoming Netflix competitor, a streaming service that will debut in late 2019.
The service will also include Disney and Pixar films, as well as exclusive content to the tune of 4-5 live-action movies (already in development), 4-5 TV series, and 3-4 TV movies. All that is in addition to a back catalog of 400-500 movies and around 7,000 episodes of TV.
Business Insider also had the numbers to see how many subscribers Disney would need to break even, not even profit but break even: 32 million. As previously stated, Netflix began streaming in 2007 and just broke 100 million global subscribers this year. HBO GO is still at a comfortable 3.5 million and CBS is claiming they'll have 4 million. The Disney brand is worth a lot, but is it worth that much? UBS, who broke down the numbers, doesn't think it's an impossible goal to meet.
"While [32 million subscribers] is not a stretch at all given our bullish expectations for the growth in the SVOD [streaming video] marketplace globally, it certainly creates greater EPS [earnings] uncertainty for the next several years during a period where investors are already nervous about secular trends for ESPN."
When it comes to Disney they're used to losing money from ESPN so maybe just below breaking even or breaking even is good enough.
Here's the full breakdown:
A problem that Disney could run into is they are used to making money at the box office from each ticket. A family of four has to purchase four tickets to see their movie. A family of four has one subscription to a streaming service and this is assuming people don't share their login details with friends or family. The running joke that there is one login and everyone shares it exists for a reason.