What just happened? Netflix is one of the few companies to have benefited from Covid-19. With much of the world under lockdown, the streaming service has seen its viewership and new subscriber numbers grow as people look for ways to pass the time. As a result, its shares have reached a record high, making Netflix more valuable than Disney.
As reported by Variety, Netflix’s stock reached $426.75 per share yesterday, giving it a market capitalization of $187.3 billion. That puts it ahead of entertainment behemoth Disney, which is valued at $186.6 billion.
Netflix had forecast that it would add seven million new subscribers in the first quarter, but some analysts believe the figure will be closer to 8.45 million. “We expect a strong [quarter] driven by a solid slate of originals coupled with a captive audience due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” wrote Cowen & Co. analyst John Blackledge. One of those originals is Tiger King (pictured top), which has proved incredibly popular.
Streaming services have seen an uptick in new users since the lockdown began. In addition to Netflix, we've seen Apple TV+, HBO, and Hulu all gain new subscribers, while Disney+ experienced the biggest jump—a 212 percent spike in sign-ups. Partly thanks to flagship show The Mandalorian, the service has reached 50 million users in just five months.
It’s not all been good news for Disney. The company’s Disney World and Disneyland parks remain closed until further notice during the pandemic, as do its international parks, though you could always experience its rides virtually. Disney’s stock was down 2.5 percent on Wednesday when much of the market declined.
Nielsen data shows US viewing of internet video on TVs was up 109 percent in March compared to the same period last year. The increase has also benefited Amazon, whose stock reached an all-time high earlier this week.
Disney World photo credit: VIAVAL via Shutterstock