Streaming Industry Faces Huge Subscriber Loss, Netflix and Disney+ Bleed Customers

in Movies & TV

Disney+ and Netflix logos side by side

Credit: Inside the Magic

Netflix and Disney+ are locked in a heated battle for control over the streaming market, but it turns out both are getting beaten by old-fashioned television.

Credit: Netflix

For years, Netflix has held a huge lead over rival streaming service platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Max, Hulu, Apple TV+, and Disney+, in large part because it became synonymous with original streaming content like Stranger Things, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage before the others could catch up.

Disney+ and the others have been feverishly working overtime to overtake Netflix as the world’s biggest streaming platform, although not without having to cede huge subscription bases in order to do so.

However, according to the latest data from Nielsen, not only are both Netflix and Disney+ actually losing subscribers and viewing minutes, but regular broadcast television is actually making a huge comeback.

Netflix logo with Mickey Mouse
Credit: Inside the Magic

Related: Netflix Service Officially Shutting Down

In the month of September, audiences viewing content via a streaming service dropped nearly 2%, a very large number when you consider that streaming has only risen in the last decade. Netflix suffered the most of any company, with a dismal 5% loss in viewership. Disney+ lost 1.6%, which is better but still not great for a platform struggling to maintain its subscriber base against rising subscription costs and password-sharing crackdowns.

In contrast, viewership for broadcast television is up for the second month in a row; for September, it increased a whopping 13%, with even bigger gains among younger demographics. While streaming television may still hold the largest share of audiences over broadcast or cable, there is a clear trend here.

Logo for Disney+
Credit: Disney

Much of this has to do with the return of college and pro football, with sports viewership increasing nearly fourfold. The only streaming service to be able to take advantage of this is Amazon Prime Video, but both Netflix and Disney+ are getting crushed by their lack of ability to stream live sports.

Related: Disney Ends Disney+ Streaming Service, New Change Places Netflix in Charge

Another factor is that streaming platforms are no longer releasing the same kind of content they used to, in large part due to the Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists strikes. Basically, there is just not the same amount of new TV series and movie options that there was this time last year, and studios are beginning to feel the pinch for the reluctance to bargain with the unions.

Bob Iger with Disney logo
Credit: Inside the Magic

Just a little while ago, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger caused panic in his own company when he called traditional broadcast television a “broken” business model that “may not be core to Disney,” suggesting that networks like ABC and FX might get sold off to competitor while he focuses on streaming.

At least with the numbers going as they are, relying too much on streaming might not be his best idea.

Why are streaming viewing numbers tanking? Is this all just football season, or are people tired of Netflix and Disney+ content? Tell us in the comments below!

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