CNBC Pro

Disney shakes off pandemic hit, transforms into a 'direct-to-consumer dream' rivaling Netflix

Share
Bob Chapek, CEO of the Walt Disney Company and former head of Walt Disney Parks and Experiences, speaks during a media preview of the D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, Aug. 22, 2019.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg via Getty Images

(This story is for CNBC Pro subscribers only.)

Disney has pressed fast forward on its path to becoming a streaming giant that could dethrone Netflix.

Not only did the media giant report 100 million paid subscribers across its streaming offerings, Disney just announced a new international service under the Star brand in 2021. What's more, Disney said a live-action "Mulan" will go straight to Disney+, a glimpse of a possible video-on-demand feature.

The slew of good news and specific expansion plans surprised and delighted Wall Street. Analysts applauded the move to accelerate growth in its streaming business as its theme parks, broadcast and TV networks have been hard hit due to the pandemic. When those businesses eventually return, that could mean good things for the stock long-term, they believe. 

"The key advantage Disney has is its ability to attach Star to Disney+," Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger said in a note Wednesday. "Put together, Star plus Disney+ theoretically offer the same potential full-rounded entertainment service as Netflix. We expect Disney will price that bundle at par or below Netflix." 

The analyst also called Disney "a new DTC (direct to consumer) dream."

More In Pro Insight

CNBC ProThe most widely followed Wall Street investor survey shows big leap in economic fears
watch now
VIDEO03:40
CNBC ProEquities still have further upside despite cost pressures, strategist says
watch now
VIDEO13:04
CNBC ProP&G's Jon Moeller reacts to Q3 earnings, supply chain issues, inflation and more