In a regulatory filing released on Friday, September 13, Apple (AAPL) disclosed that Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger had resigned from the board of Apple. While this news was not earth-shattering, multiple news outlets picked up the same theme explaining the move, leading to headlines like Bloomberg's 'Disney's Iger Quits Apple Board as Streaming Rivalry Heats Up' and Forbes' 'Disney CEO Bob Iger Exits Apple’s Board As Two Companies Prepare To Launch Competing Streaming Services.'
APPLE TV+ VS. DISNEY+: Apple, which recently announced details of its Apple TV+ streaming service at its most recent Special Event, said Apple TV+ would launch on November 1, with original content including workplace drama 'The Morning Show,' which stars Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carell, and post-apocalyptic drama 'See,' starring Jason Momoa. Apple TV+ will have nine shows available at launch, and cost $5 per month, with the option to sahre with up to five family members using Apple's family sharing feature.
Disney, meanwhile, is planning to launch its streaming service, Disney+, on November 12, featuring live-action Marvel shows such as 'Hawkeye,' 'Loki,' and 'WandaVision,' live-action Star Wars shows, including 'The Mandalorian' and an Obi Wan Kenobi mini-series, as well as content from The Disney Channel and National Geographic. Disney+ will cost $7 per month and will include four simultaneous streams, 4K and Dolby Atmos.
APPLE TV+ ACTUALLY EXPENSIVE DUE TO SMALL LINEUP?: Following Apple's Special Event, investors seemed to only care about Apple TV+'s unexpectedly low price, with stocks of streaming rivals like Netflix (NFLX) and Disney quickly falling on potential unforeseen risks to competition, Tae Kim wrote in Barron's. While the $4.99 a month price for Apple TV+ looks appealing, it may not be so attractive once consumers consider the number of shows the service will offer, the author contended, adding that the small lineup offered actually makes Apple TV+ look pricey compared with the competition.
EFFECT ON NETFLIX: In addition to how Apple TV+ and Disney+ will fare relative to one another, there is also the question of how it will affect the market leader, Netflix. The company has been canceling its shows faster than it ever has, according to the Verge's Julia Alexander, with new programs like 'The OA' and 'Tuca & Bertie' getting axed right when they fail to perform, which Alexander suggested is due to the increased competition in the market. In addition to cancellations, Netflix did just announce it has landed the global streaming rights to the Emmy-Award winning television show 'Seinfeld,' starting in 2021.
Credit Suisse analyst Douglas Mitchelson noted that his Netflix thesis already presumed increased competition in the future. However, the analyst believes Netflix's 10-year head start, scale, breath of content and customer engagement is unlikely to be dented by an Apple TV+ subscription service with a relatively light content slate and no library content. In fact, Apple TV+ looks more like an HBO or Showtime than a Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime (AMZN), he contended, adding that he continues to believe SVOD will not be a zero sum game. Lastly, Mitchelson would expect Apple TV+ would more likely displace a runner-up than the leader.