Jonathan Nelson knows a thing or two about streaming. He’s the chief executive officer of Providence Equity Partners, which was an early investor in the streaming service Hulu.
As media and tech giants launch new online video channels, Nelson said he already knows who will win the so-called streaming wars: Netflix Inc. and Walt Disney Co.
As Netflix adds subscribers globally, it can afford more shows and movies, he said. “I can’t imagine them not being one of the winners,” Nelson said.
Disney has “enormously valuable brands,” he said, adding that “I would put money on them, too.” Traditional media companies will struggle to compete because their new Silicon Valley rivals don’t need to turn a profit on their streaming services.
“For Amazon, whatever they do in video could be considered a marketing experiment for Prime.”
Nelson said the big “wild card” in the media landscape will be what happens to the NFL’s broadcast rights when contracts with media companies are up in a few years — and whether a tech giant like Amazon.com Inc. is able to snatch those rights away.
“If you’re trying to figure out where streaming is going, the key point to watch out for is what happens to the NFL rights,” he said. “Where it goes will be very interesting.”