Netflix today announced its fourth quarter results for 2017, reporting $3.29 billion in revenue and 8.33 million additional subscribers. Hidden in the company’s announcement, however, is also acknowledgment that Apple may soon be a major competitor…
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Netflix’s Q4 results largely beat analyst expectations and sent the company’s stock up by over 8 percent in after-hours trading. Netflix cited its original shows like “13 Reasons Why” and “Stranger Things” as drivers for its continued growth.
Netflix isn’t oblivious to its competitors though. In its Q4 2017 letter to investors, the streaming giant acknowledged that Amazon Studios is “likely to bring in a strong new leader given their large content budgets.”
Furthermore, Netflix pointed to Apple as another potential competitor. Netflix says that Apple is “growing its programming” and predicts the company will either bundle that content with iOS or Apple Music:
On the commercial-free tech side, Amazon Studios is likely to bring in a strong new leader given their large content budgets, and Apple is growing its programming, which we presume will either be bundled with Apple Music or with iOS.
Netflix made a brief mention of Apple during its previous earnings release, as well, acknowledging reports that the company was looking to spend $1 billion on original programming.
Netflix’s continued recognition of Apple’s content plans show that it sees those efforts as a real threat to its own performance. Apple inherently has a major leg-up on Netflix in that it has direct access to the over 1 billion iOS users, while Netflix requires a third-party app.
Furthermore, Netflix’s guess that Apple’s original content will come “bundled with Apple Music or with iOS” is interesting. It’s unclear at this point how Apple plans to release its original content, but it seems highly unlikely it will come “bundled with iOS.”
While Apple itself has stayed largely quiet on its original content initiatives, the company has reportedly signed several TV shows from the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Steven Spielberg, and potentially J.J. Abrams.
Do you think Netflix should be worried about Apple’s content plans? Let us know down in the comments.