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Disney Raises the Stakes, and the Competition Should Be Worried

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The term "Netflix-killer" gets thrown around way too much by lazy tech writers, so I'm not going to call Disney's announced streaming bundle a Netflix-killer…but it sure isn't doing Netflix any favors.

BlogFor those who missed the news, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced in an investor call that the company will offer a bundle of Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu for $12,99 starting November 12. The whole thing is so clever it's diabolical. That's the same price as Netflix's most popular plan, and the three-part bundle is designed with the whole family in mind. There's Disney+ for the kids, ESPN+ for Dad, and Hulu (the SVOD with more female viewers and an emphasis on female talent) for Mom.

That makes it easy for families to see the value in the service. Why get one service that has content for a few people in the family when you can get three services for the same price that appeal to everyone?

Netflix is coming off a rough quarter, having shed U.S. subscribers for the first time, and this is likely to add to its woes. But this certainly isn't a Netflix-killer. Netflix is a whale. It's the first global network. It'll outlive us all.No, the real danger is to every other service struggling to gain a toehold.

As we learned last week, households don't want to pay a lot for streaming services. They'd like to pay an average of $21 per month. They might pay more in actuality, but that's what they'd like to pay. They don't see a point in paying for loads of content they don't have time to watch.

Once Disney+ launches, I see it playing out like this: Most households will keep Netflix. It's the biggest and its shows generate huge buzz. Many will pick up the Disney bundle, especially if they have kids. If not, they'll get HBO. And everyone will keep Amazon Prime, because they want the free shipping.

But that's it. There's no more room for other services and no time to watch any more content, anyway. We're in the age of streaming experimentation. The reality is a few services will rise up, but most experiments will fail.

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