Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos on the threat of rivals including Disney

By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Netflix is not worried by the increased competition provided by well-resourced rivals such as Disney and Amazon, the streaming giant’s content chief has said.

While Netflix remains comfortably the most popular service with roughly 160 million subscribers around the world, its long-term future at the top is far from certain.

Disney, supported by its prodigious back catalogue and vast wealth, launched its Disney+ service in the US in November and enjoyed a start that surpassed most expectations.

Netflix chief Ted Sarandos has discussed the increasing competition in the streaming sector (Ian West/PA)

Apple, another industry giant with seemingly endless resources, also entered the market towards the end of last year while HBO Max is set to arrive in the US in May, joining an already crowded space which also includes Amazon.

Despite the range and depth of the competition, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said the company is not worried.

Speaking at the Bafta Tea Party event in Los Angeles, he told the PA news agency: “We’re totally focused on making about 160 million people around the world happy every night and that’s all we think about.”

Sarandos was speaking as Netflix leads the way in nominations for both TV and film in the Golden Globes.

TV series including The Crown and Unbelievable means the California-based company is likely to fare well during Sunday’s ceremony, while films including The Irishman and Marriage Story are favourites at both the Globes and next month’s Oscars.

The two movies are among the front-runners for the best picture Academy Award, which would be Netflix’s first.

Sarandos said the company is “thrilled” at its position.

He said: “It was a little bit of a serendipitous time in that so many great films came together at the same time but we’re really thrilled with the outcome, for sure.”

Asked what the future holds for Netflix, Sarandos said: “You’ve seen us build up our original film initiative both in terms of the volume of the films but more importantly the quality of the films that are coming out, so more to come, a lot more to come.”