Netflix is now more valuable than Disney or Comcast. Yes, you read that right. Apparently Disney isn't the unstoppable juggernaut that we all thought it was, or maybe Netflix is just an even bigger one.
Netflix, the streaming service giant that is continually producing such original sci-fi content as Altered Carbon, Black Mirror, Stranger Things, Bright, Lost in Space, Dark and The Rain, saw its stock reach a record high of $351.09 per share as of 12:15 p.m. EDT on Thursday, giving the company a market cap of nearly $162 billion. Meanwhile, despite owning the massively popular Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm, Disney’s stock dropped to $101.74 per share by midday, yielding a market cap of almost $152 billion.
Netflix’s stock has grown by more than 80 percent in value this year. On Wednesday, Netflix’s market cap surpassed that of cable and media giant Comcast, which currently has a market cap of roughly $144 billion. Netflix has also eclipsed other traditional media companies, including 21st Century Fox (with a market cap of $73.51 billion as of midday Thursday), Time Warner ($73.5 billion), CBS ($19.18 billion), and Viacom ($10.85 billion).
Though Netflix has obviously become ubiquitous with entertainment the past decade or so, it's still startling to see a company so young surpass one of the biggest (arguably the biggest) company in media — the gatekeeper of two of the biggest franchises in existence (Star Wars and Marvel), not to mention most of your childhood favorites.
It remains to be seen whether Disney’s planned streaming service will give Netflix a run for its money, but considering Netflix just passed this hurdle shortly after Disney released the record-breaking blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War, it seems like a long shot. That said, allowing Disney to leverage its resources into its own service will certainly level the playing field.