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9 Million US Netflix Subscribers Might Drop Service for Disney+, Survey Finds

Streaming Observer finds that 14.5% of U.S. Netflix subscribers could drop it for Disney — while another 20% plan on subscribing to both

Nearly nine million U.S. Netflix subscribers could ditch the service in favor of Disney’s upcoming streaming service, according to a survey from Streaming Observer released on Wednesday.

The survey, based on the answers of 602 male and female Netflix customers in the U.S., found that more than 12.3% of respondents said they “might cancel Netflix and get Disney+,” the Mouse House’s $6.99 per month service that’s set for a November launch. At Netflix’s current U.S. subscriber count of 60 million people, that comes out to 7.4 million customers. Only 2.2% said they’d “definitely” drop Netflix in favor of Netflix, according to the survey, representing about 1.2 million subscribers.

When it reported its first quarter earnings last week, Netflix didn’t seem that worried about losing viewers to Disney+ or any other new streaming competitors, like Apple and WarnerMedia.

“We don’t anticipate that these new entrants will materially affect our growth because the transition from linear to on-demand entertainment is so massive and because of the differing nature of our content offerings,” Netflix said in its shareholder letter. “We believe we’ll all continue to grow as we each invest more in content and improve our service and as consumers continue to migrate away from linear viewing (similar to how US cable networks collectively grew for years as viewing shifted from broadcast networks during the 1980s and 1990s).”

Disney+ will be the exclusive home to Marvel and Star Wars, as well as big-time kid franchises like “Frozen” and “Toy Story.” But most experts TheWrap spoke with recently expect the two services to “live in harmony,” as Paul Hardart, current head of the Entertainment, Media and Technology Program at New York University, put it. 

“The question is, will anybody drop their Netflix subscription because of Disney and these new services? Probably not, at least for now,” Tom Harrington, senior research analyst with Enders Analysis, said. “Obviously, Disney+ is the one that looks most likely [to topple Netflix], but even that is more of a family service. It’s not a like-to-like comparison.”

That was backed up by some of the other findings by Streaming Observer. 20% of respondents said they plan on subscribing to both services, and another 37.5% said they’ll at least try Disney+ when it first debuts.

You can view the survey here.