Netflix loses $20 billion in market value after subscriber growth falls short of forecasts

Netflix show “Bridgerton.”

  • Netflix shares fell by up to 8% on Wednesday, erasing $20 billion in market value.
  • The video-streaming service missed its subscriber-growth forecast and issued weak guidance.
  • Netflix plans to spend $17 billion on content this year to drive future growth.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Netflix shares tumbled as much as 8% on Wednesday, wiping $20 billion off the video-streaming platform’s market capitalization. The selloff came after the company added fewer subscribers than expected last quarter, and warned of further weakness.

The media company grew its global paid memberships to 208 million, missing its forecast of 210 million. It added fewer than 4 million subscribers – less than half the 8.5 million it signed up in the preceding quarter, and a quarter of the almost 16 million it attracted in the first quarter of 2020.

Netflix also signaled its subscriber growth is yet to recover. It expects to add only 1 million memberships this quarter, down from 10 million in the second quarter of 2020.

The group’s bosses blamed the subscriber-growth shortfall on the pandemic, saying it pulled forward demand and delayed the release of new TV shows and movies on its platform. They dismissed the idea that Disney Plus – which has amassed over 100 million subscribers since it launched 16 months ago – was responsible.

“We had those 10 years where we’re growing smooth as silk and then just a little wobbly right now,” CEO Reed Hastings said on the earnings call.

Despite its challenges, Netflix grew revenue by 24% year-on-year to $7.2 billion last quarter, and scored a 140% increase in net income to $1.7 billion.

The company expects subscriber growth to rebound in the second half of this year, fueled by new seasons of “You,” “The Witcher,” and “Sex Education,” as well as blockbusters including “Don’t Look Up” and “Red Notice.” It also plans to spend $17 billion on content this year to ensure a steady flow of new releases going forward.

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Disney Plus has started to roll out Star, an entertainment channel for adults. It’s also boosting prices in non-US markets.

Disney plus
  • Disney Plus subscription fees will increase by about 33% in non-US markets starting Tuesday.
  • Star will launch first in Europe, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, according to Disney.
  • Disney wants to hit 300 million to 350 million total streaming subscriptions by 2024.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Disney Plus began to launch Star, a new entertainment brand for adults, in non-US markets this week and is also increasing its subscription fees by about 33% in those regions, according to a Disney Plus Star factsheet

Star, the sixth tile in the Disney Plus app, first launched February 23 in Europe, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada and will roll out later in the year across Eastern Europe, South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong, according to a Disney Plus Star factsheet.

The company didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s question about whether the price increases in those markets was attributed to the added content via Star. 

In the UK, for example, existing and new subscribers will pay £7.99 ($11.15) per month or £79.90 ($111.50) annually.  That’s compared to the current monthly subscription fee of £5.99 ($8.36) monthly or £59.99 ($83.71) yearly.

Star will offer content that is updated weekly from Disney Television Studios, 20th Century Studios, and Touchstone, among others, Disney said. Star will also offer over 35 first-run series set to premiere by the end of 2021, and deliver around 50 local originals every year by 2024, the company said in the factsheet. 

The brand’s launch comes as streaming services, including Netflix, Prime, and Hulu, thrive as people continue to stay home because of the coronavirus pandemic. The combined number of US subscribers for the major streaming services increased more than 50% between December, 2019, and December, 2020, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis conducted with market research firms MoffettNathanson and Harris X. 

Disney didn’t reveal how many subscribers it expects to gain from Star, but it expects its streaming services to hit 300 million to 350 million total subscriptions by 2024, a company spokesperson told Insider.

The Disney Plus video streaming platform, launched in 2019, and has a subscriber base of 94.9 million as of January 2, according to the company.

Star will also come with a parental control app feature that allows users to set their content age rating that ranges from zero+ to 18+, according to the Disney+ website. It also allows them to add a password to the rated content as well as the app. 

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How Reddit is Expanding its Video Presence with Dubsmash

2020 has seen a surge in the ever-expanding category of video offerings, particularly short-form, geared toward younger audiences. The latest to make a place in the space? Reddit.

The platform recently revealed its acquisition of short video platform Dubsmash. While the app will retain its own platform and brand, Reddit will integrate its video creation tools to help boost the creative opportunities available to creators and brands.

“Video is increasingly core to how people want to connect, and as we continue to grow our community, we’re committed to providing the best possible tools users need to find, create, and interact with one another through video,” Reddit shared in the official announcement.

The path towards video

Since launching native videos in 2017, Reddit reports usage has increased sharply, growing 2X in 2020 alone resulting in millions of organic video uploads. Separately, a spokesperson for Reddit shared with sources at Social Media Today that A Reddit spokesperson told SMT that, RPAN’s first year, over 291,000 streams were shared on the platform, by more than 54,000 streamers.

While initially these streams were capped at 45 minutes, there’s now a way to extend the length, which could open the window for creators to monetize their videos and tap into Dubsmash’s 52 million daily active users.

For some background, Dubsmash stands as one of TikTok’s biggest rivals that gained initial traction in 2015 as a lip-sync video app. In 2017, it broadened its appeal by incorporating more features that would earn it the title of social platform and moved its headquarters from Berlin to Brooklyn. Fast forward to this year, it had over one billion downloads and was second in the short-form video market.

Elevating underrepresented voices

Consumers prefer realistic portrayals of life versus displays of escapism, therefore it’s more important than ever to listen to their conversations rather than predict what they want or value.

In this vein, platforms must adapt as brands now take a stance on political and social issues far more than in previous decades, not only offering a branch of support but also acting as advocates for the consumers they represent and the issues they face.

Per the announcement, Dubsmash as a “welcoming platform for creators and users who are under-represented in social media.” Roughly 25 percent of all Black teens in the U.S and females represent 70 percent of Dubsmash users. This seems to align nicely with Reddit’s mission of fostering a sense of community and belonging via thousands of topics and passion points.

“In our years of building Dubsmash, we’ve learned how video can spark creativity, unlock interactions, and deepen connections within communities,” added Dubsmash’s co-founder and president, Suchit Dash. “Our focus is showing a different side of the internet.”

The transition to video — it’s only beginning

“The transition to video will be bigger than the transition to mobile,” explained Reddit Chief Executive and co-founder Steve Huffman in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. “We’re still only at the beginning.”

Video streaming apps specifically saw a 40 percent YoY spike with games, (35%), financing and shopping apps (25%), and social and communications apps (20%) following closely behind. Overall, it’s safe to say mobile adoption was accelerated by the global pandemic in ways that simply cannot and will not be reversed. App Annie predicts we’re ahead by roughly 2 to 3 years.

As we look ahead, predictions show that video will account for 78 percent of mobile traffic by 2021, up from 60 percent today. TikTok may be the king for now, but that won’t stop others from making their mark.

In an era of empowered consumers, video will continue to a core format central to how we find, share, and relate to content. Experiences should be the primary focus for brands — and these have to be easy-to-navigate, immensely creative, and match the space and flow of communication. Video is one of these focus areas worth integrating into your content strategy.

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The post How Reddit is Expanding its Video Presence with Dubsmash appeared first on Social Media Week.

Disney surges 9% after forecasting it will triple Disney Plus subscribers by 2024

the mandalorian
“The Mandalorian”

  • Disney shares jumped as much as 9% in pre-market trading on Friday.
  • The media giant plans to hike the domestic price of Disney Plus in March, and expects to triple its streaming service subscribers to between 230 million and 260 million by 2024.
  • Disney also expects to double its annual content investment to about $15 billion over the next four years as it rolls out dozens of movies and TV shows from its studio and its Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar subsidiaries.
  • Most of Disney’s business has been hit hard by the pandemic, but millions of people have signed up to Disney Plus to keep themselves entertained during lockdowns.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Disney stock surged as much as 9% in pre-market trading on Friday after the entertainment titan laid out a bullish growth plan for its video-streaming business during its virtual investor day on Thursday.

The company intends to raise the monthly cost of Disney Plus in the US by a dollar to $7.99 in March, marking the platform’s first price increase since launching in November 2019. It expects to reach a total of 230 million to 260 million global subscribers by 2024, roughly triple its 87 million subscribers as of December 2.

Read More: 2 investment chiefs at John Hancock’s $692 billion investing arm say the post-COVID recovery might disappoint in 2021 – but investors can profit with these 3 strategies

Disney is raising prices and projecting strong growth because it intends to double its yearly spending on content to about $15 billion over the next four years. It expects to add more than 100 new titles to Disney Plus annually, drawing from its Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar subsidiaries and expanding on its own studio’s properties such as “Zootopia” and “Moana.”

As a result, Disney expects its streaming losses to peak next year, and hopes to break even in 2024.

Disney Plus is a bright spot in a brutal year

A key element of Disney’s strategy is taking a smash hit in one of its divisions, such as “The Mandalorian” show on Disney Plus, and cashing in on it across its business. It already sells “Baby Yoda” toys and clothing in its Disney Stores, and will undoubtedly seek to deploy the beloved character in movies, TV shows, video games, and attractions in its theme parks and on its cruises.

Disney’s approach backfired this year, as its sprawling operations left it massively exposed to the pandemic. The company was forced to close theme parks and resorts, halt cruises, shutter Disney Stores, delay movie releases due to production shutdowns and cinema closures, and even host the rest of the NBA season at Disney World to help its ESPN subsidiary weather the suspension of many live sports.

Read More: Cathie Wood is beating 99% of fund managers this year. The ARK CEO and her team share their outlooks for 2021 – including thoughts on Tesla’s $5 billion stock sale, the Salesforce-Slack tie-up, and bitcoin’s meteoric rise.

The disruptions meant Disney posted a net loss of $2.8 billion for the year to October 3 – a sharp swing from $10.4 billion in net income in the previous financial year.

Given it will be months before Disney’s business can rebound, it’s not surprising that the company is doubling down on Disney Plus, which has seen a spike in signups this year as people spend more time at home.

Read the original article on Business Insider