EconomyFinancialWhat do Disney +, HBO Max and MUBI do...

What do Disney +, HBO Max and MUBI do to avoid the 'Netflix effect'?

Netflix was for more than a decade the king of streaming. But the arrival of new competitors and the brake that inflation has given to the migration of audiences from traditional television to the model of ‘watch what you want, when you want’, caused a significant decrease in its subscribers.

Around 200,000 users canceled their subscription during the first quarter of 2022 and another 970,000 in the second.

The loss of audience of the company founded by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph coincides with the rise of other platforms, such as Disney +, HBO Max or MUBI , which seek to differentiate themselves to capture the attention and retain users, in the midst of high inflation that forces consumers to moderate their spending.

In Mexico there are 12 million people who have a subscription to a streaming platform:; 56% have contracted one account, 27% have two and 17% maintain three, according to data from the consulting firm The CIU at the end of 2021.

“We can no longer get hold of the entire (streaming) offer. The diversity of content that each one (of the platforms) has in its catalogs is what is guiding audiences to commit to purchasing a subscription”, says Radamés Camargo, analyst at The CIU.

Connection with millennials

Disney+, which arrived in the country in November 2020, managed to steal market share from Netflix to position itself as the second competitor, with 12.6% of the market, according to The CIU.

The accelerated growth of the platform in a segment that is being reconfigured is due to its original content strategy that seeks to connect with users, especially millennials, through original series from franchises such as Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar movies.

“Pixar movies are highly consumed by a millennial segment and not necessarily by children, as is believed. Toy Story is a movie that has already turned 25, just like this group of people who have already grown up and who love to see this type of content,” says David Chávez, Vice President of Marketing for The Walt Disney Company Mexico.

art cinema at home

MUBI, which emerged in 2007 from the need to have a space to present auteur films that are often difficult to find, arrived in the Mexican market in 2014. Offering less commercial cinema has been its differentiator.

To make the selection of content, the platform has a team of specialized curators who choose the specific programming for each territory where the service is available.

For Sandra Gómez, Marketing Director of MUBI Latin America, this way of choosing films has been one of MUBI’s great added values.

“We live in a time when algorithms decide what we like or don’t like, trying to decipher our personalities based on patterns,” he says.

The platform also wants to generate a community by creating conversation around the content it offers, either through its digital and printed magazine, or in its Encuentros podcast, in which figures from Latin American cinema and culture participate.

A bet on sport

HBO Max found a competitive advantage in shortening the time between when a movie is released in theaters and when its subscribers can see Warner tapes on the platform only 45 days later, when before it could take up to a year. “(This reduction) is outrageous,” says Luis Durán, general manager of HBO Max.

Sports are another pillar for the platform that currently offers its users the Champions League matches. According to Durán, the game between Real Madrid and Manchester City last season allowed the platform to have a million active audience in that game alone.

In less than a year, the company already holds 9.3% of the streaming market share, leaving behind Amazon Prime, which has been operating in the country since 2017 and has a 7.1% share, according to data from The CIU.

“It is getting more and more difficult to acquire and retain subscribers. They are more demanding and I think this has intensified the fight for good content, because there is a limited supply and we all need that good content to continue competing”, says Durán.

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