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Disney's Streaming Platform Goes Live: What The Pros Are Saying

Jayson Derrick

Entertainment and media giant Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) launched its highly anticipated streaming video product Tuesday, Disney+. Here's what the experts are saying. 

Nathanson Sees Bet On Nostalgia

Disney+ should see "a lot of momentum" in its early days by targeting not only core Disney fans, but lovers of other franchises like Marvel and Lucasfilm, Michael Nathanson, senior research analyst at MoffettNathanson, told CNBC.

Perhaps more important, Disney is betting big on nostalgia, as older Disney fans now have a chance to relive childhood favorites, according to CNBC.

Now, the same viewers can share their childhood favorites with their own children.

Greenfield: Legacy Cable Bundle Is Dead

Disney's streaming debut signals to the world that the legacy cable bundle is dead, LightShed Partners co-founder and media analyst Richard Greenfield said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Tuesday.

Instead of trying to convince investors its core TV channels will "be OK," Disney is instead declaring the "future is streaming," and the future is now, he said. 

Disney's ESPN relies on a cable bundle, and there is "no answer" for what will happen to the sports network, Greenfield said.

For the time being, the company is in a "tough spot," as ESPN is included with cable packages whether a consumer wants it or not, he said. 

In contrast, consumers aren't forced to sign up for Disney's streaming services, implying the company needs to be aggressive in marketing to fuel growth, the media analyst said. 

The financial impact is evident in the Street's revision of 2020 earnings per share estimate from $8.30 a year ago to below $6 today, and some investors have even lower expectations, Greenfield said. 

Disney has a path to charge up to $20 a month for its streaming platform, but only if theatrical releases of mega hits are launched online at the same time, he said. 

Beck: Netflix Is 'Highly Vulnerable'

Rival streaming video platform Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX) has a big problem and could lose 30% of its U.S. subscriber base, cg42 founder and managing partner Stephen Beck also said on "Squawk Box."

The consulting firm's survey of U.S. consumers found Netflix is "highly vulnerable," as 9 million of its 60-million strong user base could switch to Disney's platform over the next few months, he said. 

Beck's estimates suggest around 45% of all streaming subscribers are planning to sign up for Disney+ over the next three months, he told CNBC, adding that there is reason to believe Disney is going to be very successful in its early days, as no competitor can match its lineup.

Disney shares were trading 1.38% higher at $138.63 at the time of publication Tuesday. 

Related Links:

Imperial Capital Sees 'Far Clearer Vision' On Disney, Raises Price Target

Disney's Strong Quarter Keeps Investors Happy, But Its 'Biggest Moment' Awaits

Photo courtesy of Disney. 

Latest Ratings for DIS

Date Firm Action From To
Nov 2019 Maintains Buy
Nov 2019 Maintains In-Line
Nov 2019 Maintains Outperform

View More Analyst Ratings for DIS
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