Netflix vs Disney: Who’s Winning the Streaming War?
Netflix is well-known as one of the pioneers of mass-market video streaming. The service has become so ubiquitous that the word “Netflix” is now synonymous with watching a movie or television show.
But, while it’s one of the most recognized streaming platforms in the world, has it been able to maintain its dominant position in the industry now that more competitors have entered the fray?
This graphic by Truman Du shows how Disney’s streaming empire (Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+) has quickly gained subscribers and is giving Netflix a run for its money.
Netflix: The Beginning
Founded in 1997, Netflix started out as mail-order DVD rental company. One of the co-founders Reed Hastings told Fortune Magazine that he got the idea for Netflix after he was charged a $40 late fee for a VHS he’d rented out.
By 2007, Netflix had evolved from a relatively modest DVD rental company into a ground-breaking subscription-based streaming service. While there were a few other streaming platforms at the time, Netflix had a significant first mover’s advantage, operating on a subscription model and acquiring a wide pool of distribution rights from different studios.
This allowed the company to grow rapidly and establish itself as an industry leader. From 2007 to 2022, Netflix’s subscriber base grew from 7 million to 221 million, nearly 3,000%.
When Did Disney Enter the Scene?
The Walt Disney Company got involved in the streaming industry in 2009 when it first joined Hulu as a minor stakeholder, but became more directly invested in 2016 when it bought a 33% stake in BAMTECH Media, a video streaming technology company.
Disney eventually bought a majority stake in BAMTECH Media and in 2018, the company rebranded to Disney Streaming Services. In addition to launching Disney+ and ESPN+, Disney’s acquisition of 21 Century Fox gave the company a majority stake in other streaming platforms including Hulu and Star+.
While Disney arrived much later on the scene compared to Netflix, it didn’t take long for Disney’s platforms to gain traction. And as of Q2 2022, Disney’s streaming empire (Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+) has more combined subscribers than Netflix, and are gaining at a rapid pace.
|Platform||Subscribers (Q2 2022)||% Growth (y-o-y)|
|Netflix Total||220.7 million||5.5%|
|Platform||Subscribers (Q2 2022)||% Growth (y-o-y)|
|Disney Total||221.1 million||27.3%|
Other streaming services like HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video also continue to pick up steam, which begs the question: has the Netflix empire started to tumble?
Recent Trouble With Netflix
In April 2022, Netflix shared its Q1 results which showed a loss of 200,000 subscribers. Though barely a fraction of its 200+ million subscribers, it was Netflix’s first drop in subscribers in over 10 years.
This sent the company’s share price plummeting below $200, the lowest since 2017. As October 10, 2022, its share price still sits at $230, over 30% down from before the Q1 announcement in April 2022.
But change for the company is on the horizon. Netflix has announced that it plans to launch a cheaper, ad-supported service in November—something that other streaming platforms like Peacock and Paramount+ have already been offering customers for a few years.
This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.
Visualizing Google’s Search Engine Market Share
Google’s dominant search engine market share has prompted the U.S. Justice Department to file a lawsuit over anticompetitive practices.
Visualizing Google’s Search Engine Dominance
Google is ubiquitous in the daily lives of billions of people around the world, with leading positions in online search, maps, and other services.
In fact, Google’s dominance is so far-reaching, it has led the U.S. Justice Department to launch a civil antitrust lawsuit for what it believes are examples of anticompetitive and exclusionary conduct.
This graphic, which uses data from Similarweb, shows the scale of Google’s lead over major search engine competitors like Bing and Yahoo.
Global Search Engine Market Share
The data we used to create this graphic is provided in the table below. It is global search engine market share as of June 2023, across all platforms (desktop, mobile, and tablet).
Note that this analysis does not include China, where Google and other American tech firms are currently banned, or Russia, where Google has ceased operations.
|Search Engine||Global Market Share (%)|
The largest player included in “Other” is South Korea’s Naver (0.48% global market share), which is similar to Google in that it offers a plethora of online services like search, video, and mobile payments.
Google Prepares for its U.S. Lawsuit
In January 2023, the U.S. Justice Department announced a civil antitrust lawsuit against Google for monopolizing digital advertising technologies.
Today’s complaint alleges that Google has used anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful conduct to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies
Merrick B. Garland, Attorney General
The Justice Department originally made several antitrust arguments. Potential actions that were deemed red flags include setting Google as a default mobile browser on Android phones, designing search results to disadvantage competitors, and the company’s ongoing partnership with Apple for its Safari browser. That said, some of the less substantial claims have since been dismissed by Judge Amit Mehta.
Google’s court case will begin in mid-September, marking the biggest tech monopoly trial since United States v. Microsoft Corp in 2001. Google is expected to argue that it simply offers a superior product.
Can Bing Challenge Google on Home Turf?
To answer this question, let’s look at U.S. market share over the past 12 months ending June 2023.
From this chart we can see that Bing maintains a slightly higher 5.5% U.S. market share (versus 3.2% globally).
The biggest takeaway from this chart, though, is that Bing does not appear to have gained any traction in 2023, even after releasing its latest AI-powered version in February.
The new Bing is the result of Microsoft’s $10 billion investment into OpenAI at the beginning of 2023, which allows the tech giant to incorporate the immensely popular GPT-4 into its various products and services.
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