Finally, Disney has realised the worth of online streaming services and is now gearing up to launch its own streaming service. With this move, Disney will be ending its distribution deal with Netflix. The company will be launching its own service in 2019, and that will mark the end of Netflix and Disney streaming collaboration.
To recall, Disney signed the distribution deal with Netflix in 2012 - before streaming services gained momentum. It is only beneficial and natural for Disney to launch its service as it has a vast collection of movies and shows. The company is very particular for its top movies that are only available for purchase rather than rent. With its own streaming service to come into existence in 2019, it will be profitable for Disney and also the viewers who will be able to watch their favourite Disney flicks with one subscription.
Netflix is not losing distribution rights over Disney movies right away. Disney says that it will stop collaborating with Netflix with the studio's 2019 films while Netflix says that it will keep all the Disney movies and shows until the end of that year. It means that Netflix will miss out on the final release of Star Wars trilogy.
A spokesperson from Netflix said:
We continue to do business with the Walt Disney Company on many fronts, including our ongoing deal with Marvel TV.
The upcoming streaming service will be based on the technology from BAMTech, which also handles streaming for HBO, MLB, NHL and WWE. Disney was already among the biggest investment in BAMTech, and now it is investing $1.58 billion in the platform. With this investment, Disney is gaining a 75 percent stake in the company, but this acquisition still needs regulatory approval.
In a statement, Disney CEO Bob Iger said:
This acquisition and the launch of our direct-to-consumer services mark an entirely new growth strategy for the company, one that takes advantage of the incredible opportunity that changing technology provides us to leverage the strength of our great brands.
Streaming service for ESPN coming up next year
In addition to streaming service for Disney movies and TV shows, BAMTech will also launch an exclusive service for ESPN, early next year. The company promises up to “10,000 live regional, national, and international games and events a year,” spread across individual sports packages. Disney plans to offer both the subscription services to the consumers directly.
ESPN is an expensive channel, which is why many consumers and cable providers skip it from their subscription packages to reduce the cost. Disney's new plan is to present the channel through its online streaming services and tap directly into the market.
Disney's streaming service will be the “exclusive home in the US for subscription-video-on-demand viewing,” and will launch with films like Toy Story 4 and Frozen's sequel. “Original movies, TV shows, [and] short-form content” will be included in the service and it will be full with all the content from Disney, Pixar, and Disney's TV channels.
Well, Netflix needs to pull up its socks before Disney comes to claim its share of the market.