Netflix is famously the king of streaming but it has been attacked by a host of competitors, new and old alike. One top contender is Disney.
As early as 1940, the public was able to invest in Disney (NASDAQ: DIS). However, the stock was not listed on the New York Stock Exchange until 1952, when shares became available for $13.88 per share.
A visionary shareholder who invested $1,000 back then would have received 72 shares. Throughout the stock’s history, there have been six splits of various sizes (including three 4:1 splits) And those original 72 shares after all the splits would have mushroomed today to 38,400 shares.
At the stock’s 52-week high of $187.58, that original $1,000 investment would have turned into $7.2 million. Even at today’s share price, it’s worth multiple millions of dollars. But what does the future hold for Disney, and is it still a good buy?
Disney Is Well-Positioned in the Streaming Service Industry
In spite of competition from Discovery, Time Warner, Apple, and Amazon, the Disney franchise has a good chance of coming out on top. Even if it doesn’t take the mantle from Netflix in the near term, there is a lot of opportunity to win market share.
As Michael Paull, the President of Disney Streaming Services, sees, this is not an all-or-nothing space. “If we create and we bring quality programming, there’s room for a multitude of players in this space, just like in the traditional [TV] ecosystem there was room for a whole bunch of different networks,” said Paull.
Disney Prefers Quality Over Quantity
Not all content is created equal. Some streaming services have large libraries, but they miss the mark on quality (Netflix in particular is criticized for having lots of choice but inconsistent quality), which is why Disney may have a distinct competitive advantage having been in the content creation business for a long time.
Disney owns many beloved brands, ranging from Marvel and Pixar to Star Wars and National Geographic — not to mention its entire library of new and classic Disney movies. Since the company launched Disney+, several originals have been nominated for dozens of awards based on their success.
At the time of this writing, the company’s first major film of 2022, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, had grossed around $1 billion worldwide. This film is just one example of the caliber of content Disney produces.
Disney+ is believed by analysts to provide more “rewatchable” content than its leading competitor, Netflix. Having this edge matters when building a streaming service because rewatchable content has a longer lifespan. Disney, Marvel, and Pixar movies are the types of films that can be watched time and time again. In contrast, once you finish a Netflix series like House of Cards or Ozark, you may be less likely to revisit them again.