With the global coronavirus outbreak, analysts predict that large streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+ “may see an uptick in subscriber counts and shares while more people opt to remain indoors and forgo more public entertainment like movie theaters, concerts and other crowded areas,” reported Fox Business.
“If this coronavirus issue picks up steam a lot more than it has already and a lot of people aren’t leaving their homes or are fearful to leave their homes, it may be more likely to buy an over-the-top media subscription or pull like Netflix or a Disney+ or what have you,” Craig Huber, CEO and managing director of brokerage Huber Research Partners said. “If you’re trapped at home you probably watch more television. And it might lead to more OTT signups, digital signups and stuff.”
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Huber added that consumers may be more willing to sign up for these streaming services since monthly subscription fees are more affordable than a night out. While it’s possible for other streaming services to benefit as well, Huber said Netflix might have an advantage as it is “more globally distributed.”
On the other hand, while it is likely that people will resort to binge-watching, ReachTV’s CEO Lynnwood Bibbens noted that “it would also cost streaming services a significant amount to deliver content if usage and demand were to spike drastically,” reported Fox Business.
“I think what really benefits in this type of a scenario is the ad-supported platform,” Bibbens said. “When you’re constantly watching the ad-supported platforms, they get more, they get to serve more ads. So all of that is the key for companies like Comcast, which bought Xumo, and Viacom, which bought Pluto. The YouTubes and Hulus of the world, those types are the future of TV.”