Disney hits record on streaming plans; Netflix slips

Shares of Walt Disney Co touched an all-time high on Friday after Wall Street analysts said the aggressive pricing of its new video streaming service could help it better compete with Netflix Inc.

Netflix's shares fell by about four percent after Disney priced its streaming service, Disney+, at 6.99 U.S. dollars per month, below the video streaming pioneer's basic plan of 8.99 U.S. dollars.

"Investors find a lot of promise in Disney's offerings because it's well positioned to fight the likes of Netflix for consumers' money," said Clement Thibault, analyst at global financial markets platform Investing.com.

Shares of Disney jumped by 10 percent to 128.26 U.S. dollars, adding 21 billion U.S. dollars to the company's market capitalization of 209 billion U.S. dollars on Thursday.

J.P. Morgan analysts also noted that Disney+'s interface appears similar to that of Netflix with personalization of user profiles, recommended content, search capabilities and parental controls.

Disney+ will launch on November 12 in the United States. In addition to Disney films and TV shows, it will feature content from a host of Disney brands including Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar as well as recently acquired Fox properties such as "The Simpsons" and National Geographic programming.

Some new Disney movies, such as a "Lady and the Tramp" remake, will go directly to the Disney+ app. Other new releases will appear on Disney+ after their run in theaters, executives have said.

Disney said it expects to attract between 60 million and 90 million subscribers and achieve profitability in fiscal year 2024. It plans to plow a little over one billion U.S. dollars in cash to finance original programming in fiscal 2020 and about two billion U.S. dollars by 2024.

"It's still very early on, but the streaming war has officially begun. By fighting back with a competitive offering, Disney at least gives itself a chance to win in the streaming industry, rather than just losing user after user to other streaming services," Thibault said.

Source(s): Reuters