Netflix has been the ubiquitous giant in the field of subscription video on demand for a decade now, but come the end of the year the entire arena is getting a shakeup with the arrival of Disney+ and Apple+ – two of the four big new services (the other two being Warners’ HBO Max and Universal’s Peacock).
Speaking on Friday at the Royal Television Society conference in Cambridge, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says his company will continue to stick closely to its core strategy of offering content for binge viewing and is bracing for a far more competitive field:
“While we’ve been competing with many people in the last decade, it’s a whole new world starting in November…between Apple launching and Disney launching, and of course Amazon’s ramping up,. It’ll be tough competition. Direct-to-consumer [customers] will have a lot of choice.”
Hastings warned that steadily rising production costs would climb even higher with the advent of the likes of Disney+ and Apple TV+, and adds: “Someday ‘The Crown’ will look like a bargain.” He also confirmed Netflix had tried to acquire “Fleabag” but was outbid by Amazon.
The comments come as Bloomberg reports that Netflix plans to start paying bonuses to filmmakers, which extends to directors, actors and producers, when a movie performs well on the streaming service – be it either via awards wins or straight up eyeballs.
Both Apple TV+ and Disney+ launch in early November.