How Many Subscribers Could Netflix Lose Because of Disney+?

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Disney's new Disney+ platform is likely having some impact on Netflix subscription numbers, according to a new survey, and while one analyst isn't particularly worried, it's worth taking a closer look at the numbers. 

Cowen analyst John Blackledge said in a note that Cowen's own surveys and data shows 1.1 million Netflix users churned, or cancelled their subscriptions, in November after they had signed up for Disney+. Disney gained 10 million subscribers in November right after the launch, and an estimated 24 million by the end of the month. But Blackledge said the "incremental churn appears manageable," adding that he expects Netflix to meet or beat its fourth quarter U.S. subscriber guidance, as the quarter's rich content slate should help offset subscriber churn. 

TheStreet's Tech Editor Nelson Wang broke down the rest of Blackledge's research:

"[Cowen] thinks that about a third of [the 1.6 million in Netflix subscriber churn for the fourth quarter] is just customers that would be cancelling the service anyway, so when you look at what the guidance is for the fourth quarter, which is the important thing driving Netflix's stock, Cowen makes some assumptions. They say the last two years, about 1.5 million subscribers have been added in the U.S., so if you back out that million that it's losing, the resulting number is about 500,000, which is about what the guidance is for the quarter." 

Netflix has a strong content slate for the fourth quarter, including The Irishman, among several other new titles. Blackledge's survey showed that about 80% of respondents who subscribed to Disney+ also subscribed to Netflix. But as other players such as AT&T's  (T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report HBO Max and Comcast's  (CMCSA) - Get Comcast Corporation Class A Report Peacock ramp up their services, consumers may start to weed out some lesser players from their subscriptions roster. 

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