Person watching Netflix in bed

What you need to know

  • Netflix has released a letter to shareholders detailing performance.
  • It also argues that the launches of Apple TV+ and Disney+ will help its business as well.
  • Apple TV+ launches on November 1st and Disney+ on November 12th.

Netflix has released its financial report for Q3 2019 in a letter to shareholders today in which it addresses the upcoming competition from new streaming services like Apple TV+ and Disney+. Reported by 9to5Mac, Netflix argues that new competition will actually boost its own overall subscribers rather than take away from them because the real opportunity exists in on-demand services taking over the traditional cable market.

"The upcoming arrival of services like Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and Peacock is increased competition, but we are all small compared to linear TV. While the new competitors have some great titles (especially catalog titles), none have the variety, diversity and quality of new original programming that we are producing around the world."

Netflix estimates the service is still only at 10% of TV screen time in the US and that cable makes up the vast majority of the rest of that time. Based on that estimate, the company believes that Netflix doesn't need to beat Apple or Disney, but that the market is big enough for many competitors as the shift from cable to streaming continues.

"In our view, the likely outcome from the launch of these new services will be to accelerate the shift from linear TV to on-demand consumption of entertainment. Just like the evolution from broadcast TV to cable, these once-in-a-generation changes are very large and open up big, new opportunities for many players."

They do recognize that the new streaming services may cause "modest headwind to our near-term growth", but they argue that in the long term the service will continue to scale across the world steadily.

"We did well during the first decade of streaming. We've been preparing for this new wave of competition for a long time. It's why we started investing in originals in 2012 and expanded aggressively ever since - across programming categories and countries with an ambition to share stories from the world to the world."

Apple TV+ releases on November 1st while Disney+ will release two weeks later on November 12th.