Netflix has 222m subscribers and they started in 2007 (The video-on-demand aspect), while Disney currently has 179m subscribers and started in 2019. Disney is learning from Walmart’s mistake when Amazon launched. They’re learning from Ford’s mistake when Tesla launched.
Netflix started a revolution that changed the video-on-demand streaming aspect for good. Amazon started a revolution that changed e-commerce as we know it. The only difference is what Amazon had to do next. Amazon had to focus on delivering products perfectly to customers. They were not initially manufacturing, and never had to. Any other competitor then would do the same because delivering products is delivering products. Improving the online shopping experience is limited because what the customer wants has nothing to do with you, Amazon. It has to do with the creator of the item.
The challenge Netflix had when they launched their platform is completely different. Their game is in the entertainment industry. So whoever launches Netflix on their TV is expecting not only entertainment but the best entertainment that exists. You’re revolutionizing how we can see our movies, but not the movies themselves.
Let’s go to Tesla.
Tesla created a fantastic electrical vehicle. They approached it in a way that’s modern, and technological rather than from an automotive point of view. They focused on creating the best EVs that exist. Had they focused on creating the best cars that exist, they would’ve been crushed. Hence, their market was focused, and they’re competing in that market. With everything that’s going on with the competitors from the big automotive companies, it’s unlikely that Tesla would remain dominant in this space for years to come.
So Amazon introduced a fast way to deliver.
Tesla introduced a new product with a niche focus.
Netflix introduced a new method of connecting people with the entertainment industry.
As you might observe, Netflix’s challenge is the most difficult. Elon Musk probably has a calendar in his office of the day Volks Wagon would win over the race. They have better odds. They have better resources, experience and every day that passes they learn from Tesla.
Netflix knew that. They knew that their video-on-demand option is amazing, but it’s only the first step. They knew that the giants are better in the entertainment field. Hence, they anticipated that some of them would create what they created. Netflix innovated, but it’s very easy to copy their business model now.
What did they do about it? They started creating content. They are burning money faster than anyone in the market. Instead of creating a few movies a quarter. They create them per month.
Now let’s go to Disney.
They saw an eager hot head who had a great idea and made billions from it. Now the hot head knows that Disney will get in the game, and she/he tries to create fantastic entertainment productions with the best actors that exist.
There’s only one problem here. Walt Disney has been around for almost 100 years. You are now trying to create better entertainment than one of the biggest entertainment gurus in the market. That’s not an easy challenge by any means. It will take a long fistfight to actually win this.
Then Disney created a movie in 2008 that will most likely be the reason for the loss of Netflix in this race. That movie is “Iron man”
Netflix is unlucky to be growing in a time where Disney created a marvel cinematic universe that is unprecedented. That is seeing success beyond imagination. That has one of the most grossing movies of all time. Most importantly, that has an increasing loyal fanbase on daily basis. Netflix is unfortunately in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
At the time of this writing, Netflix is doing what they’re doing best.
They still have loyal subscribers who are interested in their content. However, Netflix should be intimidated right now. If they had their own bubble as a unique selling point, then Disney entered that bubble.
Now Netflix is competing in the game of creating better entertainment content with Disney, a 98-year-old entertainment company. It’s not an impossible challenge, but it’s one worth watching.
The most interesting observation and the lesson here is our business age is changing. You might be the pioneer, yet the world won’t care. People are selfish and are looking for their best interests. The connection people have with such platforms is different than the connection that people had 10 years ago with their computers or games. Now, one can easily delete Spotify if there’s a better alternative.
Finally, it gets harder generation after generation when it comes to competing in the jungle. Everyone’s learning and constant innovation are required. Netflix created a breakthrough. Now in order to persist, They have to make other innovative breakthroughs, or else they will be eclipsed very soon.
I’m Al, a business consultant in Zurich, Switzerland. I believe in the power of delivering value to you, the reader. I’m focusing my content to be more and more on Medium, and Linkedin. Hence, follow me on both channels to keep in touch and connect.