As US Streaming growth comes to a crawl, INDIA is the next battleground in 2022 for NETFLIX, DISNEY and AMAZON
US streaming subscriber growth will be even more of a crawl in 2022 (NETFLIX has long peaked, with DISNEY+ seemingly doing the same and I’m sure anyone who is interested in AMAZON PRIME… already has it).
Based on recent moves, it looks like INDIA is the next subscriber mine that global streamers are zeroing in on to get their overall 2022 subscriber numbers moving again:
A low streaming subscriber penetration given the population - DISNEY+, AMAZON and NETFLIX have about 80 Million combined:
DISNEY+: anywhere from 44 to 50 Million
AMAZON PRIME: approx 20-22 Million
NETFLIX: approx 5-6 Million (#s from media research firms)
WALL STREET only cares about subscriber numbers, as DISNEY’s stock price proved this year: It does not care if you’re making very little $$ from your new subscribers (as is the case there).
CUE: NETFLIX INDIA just cut prices 60% on their main offering (can you imagine if the price here went from $14 a month to $6?). They’ve been a distant 3rd behind DISNEY+HOTSTAR and AMAZON PRIME and are finally looking to take share.
SONY also just completed a merger to create the 2nd largest media company in INDIA including 2 streaming services with local company ZEE ENTERTAINMENT.
And AMAZON is increasing their programming as well (and raising prices oddly enough, but to a place about on par with the new NETFLIX prices).
Perhaps most importantly - all 4 companies are competing heavily for Cricket rights (the NFL of INDIA) which are conveniently up for grabs this year. SONY’S INDIA TV network had them til 2018… when DISNEY+HOTSTAR snagged them away. But if DISNEY+ loses them, will likely have big ramifications on their stock price.
DISNEY+ has relied on INDIA for a large part of their growth and subscriber base thus far (makes up 1/3 of its total) - so all of this activity likely raises the biggest red flag for them, especially with their no-good-very-bad Q3 subscriber growth plunge, and Bob Chapek having to 2X their current subscriber count to hit their own projections in 3 years.
So expect to hear a lot more about the INDIAN streaming marketplace as 2022 rolls on and keep your eye on just how much growth is coming from this territory in quarterly earnings report Streaming Subscriber updates. Ok yes I’ll do that for you - just subscribe to THE WAKEUP daily newsletter here.