Netflix streamed right past Comcast, and Disney is its only competitor — for now

Netflix recently surpassed Comcast in value, and given its rapid growth in the past few years it is on track to take on Disney for the media industry’s crown.


May 14, 2018

Last week Netflix’s value hit $142B, knocking rival Comcast (worth $141B) down a step on the podium in the race for media’s gold medal. Now, the only media company left for Netflix to beat is Disney.

But coming from behind to overtake media leaders (like Fox and Time Warner in 2017) is a Netflix original strategy — and, at $150B, Disney’s empire is now in striking distance.

An underdog that never loses

When Netflix started in ’97, media leaders like DVD-giant Blockbuster were already popping the celebratory popcorn. But after introducing streaming in 2007, it took less than 3 years for the company to zip past its former rival.

Then, Netflix’s huge gamble on original content with House of Cards in 2013 paid off big. By 2016, ’Flix original hits like Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things were successful enough to catapult the company to 130 new countries simultaneously.

Netflix has no plans to chill

In the Netflix-Disney race, the momentum is in the ’Flix’s favor. In 2017, Netflix’s return grew by 64% — while Disney’s and Fox’s both declined.

To maintain its lead, Disney plans to roll out its own streaming service in 2019. But before it can finalize that service, Disney will also have to duke it out with Comcast in an expensive battle for 21st Century Fox’s assets.

As these 2 old-school media heavyweights wrestle each other, Netflix is prepping to give ’em both the chair, spending $8B on original content and an additional $2B to market that content in 2018.

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