10 million signups

That's Disney, not me. But it's still pretty darn impressive. Plus a little update, and also 7 other things worth reading.

Remember, Video Killed the Radio Star? (Link is a Youtube video.)

Man, I hope I don’t lose half my audience with that one. It’s a 1979 song that was famous for a while for being the first music video ever played on MTV.

Anyway, let’s pick up on its main theme:

  • 1950s: Sure, television more or less kills the radio star.

  • 1980s: Cable puts a dent in over-the-air.

  • 1990s: Blockbuster kills the home video store.

  • 2000s: Internet starts killing everything.

  • 2010s: Netflix kills Blockbuster (maybe).

  • 2020s: Disney+ (and other streamers) kill Netflix.

I’m Bill Murphy Jr. Welcome to Understandably. Thanks for reading.
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Exhausting to write

Netflix is dominant, with about 158 million worldwide subscribers (60 million U.S.).

But, Disney+ only launched last Sunday, and it revealed Wednesday it already has 10 million signups.

As someone who now lives and breathes “get signups for your media product,” I’m kind of in awe.

Beyond them, here are the some of the big players:

  • Netflix: by far the leader today. Honestly, predictions of its demise may be greatly exaggerated. An analysis by Digital TV Research predicts they’ll have 236 million subscribers by 2025.

  • Disney+, brand new, 10 million subscribers, with a goal of “between 60 million and 90 million global subscribers by 2024.”

  • Apple TV Plus, launched Nov. 1, no subscriber data that I can find yet. Digital TV Research thinks it will hit 27.1 million subscribers by 2025 — maybe 3x counting free subscriptions. As an example, it’s free for a year if you buy Apple hardware.

  • Peacock, from NBCUniversal and Comcast, launches next April. (They’ll have a different, advertiser-supported model.)

  • HBO Max, set for debut next May. Digital TV Research estimates its reach will be fairly similar to Apple TV Plus.

  • Hulu, which had about 28 million subscribers as of May. (No word on if that includes people like my wife and me, who tend to do a free trial, binge-watch The Handmaid’s Tale, and then cancel.)

  • Amazon Prime, which includes a lot more than streaming, but likely boasted 100 million U.S. members as of May, according to an outside analyst.

Okay, just listing all that was a bit exhausting to write. It’s also the problem and the solution we all know is coming.

The market seems big and growing. But, how many people will ultimately be able to afford paying for more than one streaming service? More than two?

I guess we’re going to find out. Or put differently, apropos of nothing: “We can’t rewind. We’ve gone too far.”

Speaking of sign ups…

Two weeks have passed since the official launch of Understandably. It’s been great, and it’s made me grateful to all of you. It’s also been a learning experience.

Let’s just say it’s very different doing this on my own, instead of as part of a big organization like Inc.

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Also worth reading:

  1. The New York Fed says it’s concerned about household debt. (N.Y. Fed)

  2. I just learned that one of my favorite quotes (“Excellence is a habit”) is a complete misattribution. (Medium)

  3. McDonald’s has some amazing kiosk technology, but it’s finding that a lot of its customers still want to pay cash. (Bloomberg/paywall)

  4. When you’re living paycheck to paycheck (been there at one point), employers can make your life easier by changing the schedule. Here’s how some big companies are doing that. (CNN)

  5. A school threw 40 students’ hot lunches in the trash and replaced them with cold ones because they had debts of over $15. (NBC)

  6. A top Apple exec says students who use ‘cheap’ Google laptops won’t succeed. (CNBC)

  7. A group of truckers just sued the state of California, saying its new gig economy law could kill 70,000 jobs. (Fox Business News)

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