Disney Prepares to Enter the Streaming Arms Race with Its Own Service
The Mouse Has Spoken
After barely a year under the Netflix umbrella, Disney has announced that they will be ending their partnership with the streaming giant beginning in 2019. As of this writing, Netflix had exclusive rights to all Disney theatrical releases, which included Pixar and Marvel properties, as well as good faith showings on non-vault entries such as the original Jungle Book and Robin Hood. The official statement is as follows:
The new Disney-branded service will become the exclusive home in the U.S. for subscription-video-on-demand viewing of the newest live action and animated movies from Disney and Pixar, beginning with the 2019 theatrical slate, which includes Toy Story 4, the sequel to Frozen, and The Lion King from Disney live-action, along with other highly anticipated movies. Disney will also make a significant investment in an annual slate of original movies, TV shows, short-form content and other Disney-branded exclusives for the service. Additionally, the service will feature a vast collection of library content, including Disney and Pixar movies and Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD television programming.
Netflix hasn’t released their own statement as of yet, but this is clearly a huge blow to the service. Disney may not have made up a huge portion of their catalogue, but having something like that in the pocket meant getting movies like Rogue One: A Star Wars and Captain America: Civil War before anyone else. Netflix has been able to maintain a stronghold on streaming even while focusing more on original content and TV shows, as opposed to movies. Disney moving in favor of their own service will only create more of a splintering effect as cord cutters will likely have to add yet another service to the growing list of outlets.
There’s still another year before the relationship is completely severed, so there’s plenty of time for something else to happen. But as it stand, Disney is taking a chance at standing on their own, which typically turns out okay for the house that The Mouse built. What say you, interested in a Disney centric streaming service?