Disney will soon roll out its new streaming platform Disney+ and is quite sure of its footing in the entertainment industry and its edge over rivals in reaping the market success.  

That confidence resonates well in the words of Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger when he talked to CNBC’s David Faber on the factors that have placed Disney in a higher pedestal.

Iger has been the CEO of Disney for 15 years. In the summer of 2017, he announced Disney’s foray into streaming business under its own brand.

Though it offered Disney the advantage to harvest its vast media hoard, the risk involved terminating the profitable licensing relationship with players like Netflix and taking the pressure to compete with so many rivals.

Disney+ from Nov 12 with unlimited downloads

Disney has announced that Disney+ streaming business will start rolling on November 12 for $6.99 a month or $69.99 per year. There will be freedom for unlimited downloads so that customers can view the content offline.

It is obvious that Disney’s new venture will intensify streaming wars and competition will get in winning customers. The entrenched players on the other side will include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and many others including Apple that formally joined the crowd recently.

A brand in progress Vs an established brand

Obviously, the $210 billion Disney sees the $159 billion streaming leader Netflix as the main competition.

“While I think Netflix has done a good job of creating brand value, and name value and a product that I think is considered of great value to a lot of people, they’re still building their brand in many respects,” Iger said.

Disney, according to Iger is quite ahead in its stronger customer connect which he calls as “visceral.”

Netflix, despite its 140 million paid subscribers, is no match to Disney on its global presence and brand power.

The challenge lies in translating Disney’s brand power into a market opportunity for the streaming industry.

That is why Disney is emphasizing strategic pricing to ensure that it is accessible to millions and millions of its stakeholders such as Disney fans, Marvel fans, Pixar fans, and ‘Star Wars’ fans are aligned with it.

The attractions of Disney Plus will be that it will be free of advertising and customers can also pay a monthly fee to access its vast library of legacy content covering Disney and Fox along with new, exclusive TV shows, movies, and documentaries.

Disney’s immaculate homework

Disney’s vision on the outcome is bolstered by the homework it has done with larger forward planning and value proposition. Even if the new business requires ending the lucrative relationship with Netflix, Disney has already taken many steps to ensure total success in the direct-to-consumer platform.

The $71.3 billion acquisition of assets from 21st Century Fox, including National Geographic and the Fox movie studio has been a giant step. 

The acquisition added an impressive cast of entertainment studios to its fold and included Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars producer Lucasfilm, and Walt Disney Animation.

Netflix is also upbeat. It has a 2020 forward price-to-earnings ratio of about 57, three times higher than Disney’s 16.6. In the last three years, Netflix stock is up 258 percent while Disney is up 21 percent.  Surely, the streaming sector battle ahead is going to be another good entertainment.