Speed Reads

Netflix and quarantine

Netflix is now worth more than Disney

Shares of Netflix hit a record high Wednesday, boosting the streaming giant's market value to $187.3 billion, topping Disney's $186.6 billion. Video streaming jumped 109 percent in March versus a year earlier, Nielsen reported, as millions of people are stuck at home, without live sports, to fight the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis. That has been a boon for Netflix and also newer rival Disney Plus, but Baby Yoda's parent company has seen its stock fall because Disney's other businesses — like theme parks and in-theater movies — have been crushed by the pandemic.

Disney's market value peaked at about $268 billion in November 2019, so Netflix's dominion is probably short-lived. "But unlike Disney and Roku, Netflix has no exposure at all to the advertising industry, stubbornly sticking to a subscription-only revenue model, despite pressure from some analysts in recent months to offer an ad-supported version of the service," Eric J. Savitz notes at Barron's. "With ad budgets in free fall and many media companies furloughing workers, cutting salaries, and struggling to maintain financial stability, Netflix is now reaping the rewards of its clear-cut no-ads strategy."