Disney To Pull Movies From Netflix & Start Their Own Streaming Service | Film News
In 2012, Disney struck a deal with Netflix that would provide new Disney releases to the streaming giant. Yet, in many ways, 2012 feels like a lifetime ago and since then, the potential and success of streaming has skyrocketed, leading Disney to end their deal with Netflix and begin work on their own streaming service instead.
In an earnings call yesterday, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that Disney will discontinue their deal with Netflix in favour of launching their own streaming service in 2019, which would host a vast collection of Disney movies and Disney-owned television series aimed at children.
The news comes alongside the announcement that Disney is acquiring a majority of BAMTech, the streaming technology owned by Major League Baseball, for $1.58 billion. They’ll be using this technology to launch their streaming service as well as an ESPN streaming service next year.
This is unsurprising considering how competitive streaming has become. Remember the days before Netflix Originals when Netflix had a host of different films and TV shows? That was long before other companies realised they could also be making money from streaming, which has led to major companies setting up their own services and developing their own original content.
Disney wasn’t gaining much from having their films on Netflix, and from a financial point of view they’re much better off pocketing subscribers money from their own service. If, as the early indications seem to be, the service is predominantly kid-based, Disney may have found a gap in the streaming market, catering to a demographic companies like Netflix and Amazon don’t.
Netflix licences the films it hosts, so it’s not yet clear whether Disney titles will immediately be pulled from the service once Disney’s own competitor starts up or whether the licences extend beyond 2019. Disney of course also owns Marvel and Lucasfilm, so plenty of recent big budget releases will be migrating from Netflix to Disney.
The streaming battle is increasingly becoming a fight between various companies own content, as more and more streaming options pop up and films and each competitor increasingly begins to rely on their own original programming. Disney has the funds and name recognition to make a dent in the current streaming wars if they see fit. Their rivals won’t be looking forward to 2019.