Streaming Competition is Strong — Who are the Winners and Losers?

Business, Lifestyle, Technology
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Eagle Alpha’s has recently released a report on the intensifying streaming wars which suggests that Disney+ has gained some traction among consumers as Apple TV Plus lags and none of the new challengers to Netflix have yet to make significant inroads.

Eagle Alpha has described itself as “the largest aggregator of alternative data globally with access to more than 1,000 datasets and solutions for corporations, private equity funds and buyside firms.”

“It’s too early to predict how Disney+ and other new streaming challengers to Netflix will fare in the coming months, but early indications suggest legacy players, including Hulu, maybe in a stronger position than previously thought,” said Dean Barr, Eagle Alpha’s Head of Bespoke Projects. “Our research also suggests that Apple TV Plus is struggling to gain traction,” he added.

“Investors should look beyond last quarter’s financials to come to an informed judgment about who will prevail in battles looming ahead.”

In developing its report, Eagle Alpha surveyed 5 million tweets from Twitter users in North America, excluding retweets, that mentioned Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV Plus, Hulu or Roku, to update its ongoing analysis of streaming video providers. Eagle Alpha believes that social media commentary volume is a reliable proxy for consumer preferences and end demand.

According to the report, “Netflix continues to dominate share of voice on Twitter with about a 70% share, though it has dropped about 10 percentage points since mid-year as Disney+ (~ 6%) gained some traction, according to the report. But Disney still lags Hulu (~14%) and Roku (~7%) as Apple TV Plus (~1%) brings up the rear in fifth place out of five.”

Meanwhile, total mentions of all streaming players, including HBO, Amazon and Showtime are up nearly 50% since Dec 2018.

The report also noted that “Enthusiasm for Roku and Disney+ is slightly stronger than for Hulu and Netflix but all of them outstrip Apple TV Plus.”

The cost of Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV Plus and Roku doesn’t feature prominently in conversation about these streaming providers. Less than 0.13% of all conversations mentioning Netflix reference its price. The numbers are even lower for Disney+, Apple TV Plus and Hulu at less than 0.05% each.

Kevin Price, host of the Price of Business show and Editor at Large of USADT asked friends of his media their thoughts on streaming.

Bob de Wolfe of Texas wrote “I am streaming 100%. I use hulu for live programming. I am saving about $50 a month and getting the same programing for all my devices (not just one T.V.).”

Aimee Foster Thibodeaux of Texas said “I cut the cord years ago. I’m currently using YouTube TV and love it, added in Netflix and HBO Go. No issues.”

Mark Pogue of Cleveland, Ohio wrote “Netflix for walking Dead and America Horror Story. Hulu for a variety of stuff.
CBS ALL ACESS I like CBS shows. And the New Disney Plus. I also renewed and drop other various services. Netflix is on the bubble for me to cancel. I will be getting Amazon back soon , waiting for new seasons of specific series.” This is a big problem all these services faces where they are hot for a while and then removed. People often rotate the services they use. Among his many activities, Pogue is a movie and TV critic and blogger.

Elizabeth Price, also of Texas, said “I haven’t had cable ever. We use Netflix, Amazon prime and YouTube.” This is a sentiment that is common among Millennials and GenX.

Jeffrey William, who lives in a suburb of Austin, Texas wrote “Believe it or not, I cut the cord yesterday. Maybe it’s me, but I’d become sick and tired of dealing with cable TV providers and their underhanded ways of doing business!…raising rates while cutting service, hidden fees, deceptive marketing, forcing people to buy bundles of programming they didn’t want to get small amounts of programming they did want! It just never seemed to end!”

Paula Buonomo South of Alabama wrote she “cut the cord long ago and have not missed it at all. Netflix and Amazon Prime. We are tired of Netflix, though. They don’t have all the best movies we like to watch.” She also mentioned  “I should also add that we watch YouTube, especially for our favorite music.”

Gary Cummings wrote “No more cable or Sat for me. I have a smart TV with Amazon Prime and a Firestick. I pay 5.99 a month for CBS all access, Hulu with commercials. All this works well for me. I hate cable and satellites worse.” He is from Virginia.

Some have abandoned TV entirely. Rich Ambrose of Texas wrote “All I ever use is my desktop PC and my smart phone.”

The only one who responded to this informal survey that was still using cable was Adam Hill of Maryland who said “I would love to cut the cord, but the only reliable Internet provider is the cable company.”

One person who chose to remain anonymous wrote “Honestly I think that most people my age stopped using cable long ago. I have a group of friends that share a Hulu subscription (everyone takes a turn each month paying). My family and husbands family share a Netflix subscription. I have friends that all go in on a prime account each year and share it so they have access to Amazon TV and Prime discounts.  And with most Internet/cable providers you can just have internet and pay an extra $10-$30 a month for live TV.”  She indicated she was a Millennial and that is a very common response to that and younger generations. She concluded, “Cable is dying and is unnecessary at this point.”

All of these responses point to a few observations:

  • Cable is in trouble. People are almost embarrassed to admit they are on it.
  • There seems to be broad support for many platforms — Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.
  • There is this belief that people are getting plenty of “infotainment” without cable, while saving money.
  • It is hard to tell if there is room for the many newly added players to streaming.


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