Netflix shares fall after analyst predicts slowdown in mobile app downloads and CEO admits 'tough competition' from Apple, Disney coming

Key Points
  • In an interview with Variety, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings admits it's a "whole new world starting in November," with the launch of Apple TV+, Disney+ and other new streaming services.
  • He says Netflix can still win by sticking to its tried-and-true strategy of binge-able content.
  • However, Hastings reveals Netflix lost out on the rights to Amazon's hit comedy "Fleabag."
Reed Hastings, chairman, president and CEO of Netflix Inc.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the company plans to stick to its tried-and-true strategy around binge-able content as the streaming wars continue to heat up.

In an interview with Variety on Friday, Hastings admitted that it's a "whole new world starting in November," when Apple is set to debut its Apple TV+ subscription service and Disney launches Disney+. A few months later NBCUniversal will debut its "Peacock" streaming service. And there are still Hulu and Amazon's Prime Video to compete with.

"It'll be tough competition," Hastings told Variety. "Direct-to-consumer [customers] will have a lot of choice."

NYT's Jim Stewart: Apple, Disney should have entered streaming partnership

Hastings said Netflix will continue to focus on producing original content, although it faces stiff competition in that arena as well. Netflix bid on the rights to the hit comedy series "Fleabag," but lost out to Amazon, he added.

His comments come as investors are increasingly zeroing in on Netflix's struggle to attract international users. In a note to clients on Friday, Evercore analysts said new app store data show international downloads have risen only 5% year over year, compared with 21% growth in July and August.

Netflix shares reacted to the note by sliding 5.5% on Friday. So far this year, the stock has lagged behind its peers in the technology space, including Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google. Netflix shares have fallen 10% in one month and are down 30% from its highs.

Read the full interview with Variety here.

Here's how consumers may tackle the streaming war

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of NBC and CNBC.