Disney Will End Its Deal With Netflix, Launch Its Own Streaming Services
What do you think: Dizflix?
Whatever they call it, Disney announced during its earnings report that the pop culture giant will soon turn its attention to the streaming business. Via Deadline, Disney intends to launch “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” in 2019. In addition, an ESPN streaming service is coming early next year, featuring something like 10,000 sporting events from the worlds of baseball, hockey, soccer, tennis, and more.
This is massive news that could potentially shift the landscape of online movie and television watching. But that comes later. In the short term it will have a more immediate and substantive impact: Disney will end its distribution deal Netflix in preparation of launching its own service with all of its content.
The deal between Netflix and Disney was signed in 2012 and went into effect last year. (This news tells you just how much has changed in the landscape of online movies and television in just the last five years.) Current Disney offerings on Netflix include recent releases like Moana, Finding Dory, Zootopia, Captain America: Civil War, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, along with catalogue titles like The Emperor’s New Groove, Fantasia, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. There are conflicting reports whether Disney is pulling all of its movies off the service (which is what CNBC and The Hollywood Reporter reports) or whether they are just terminating their agreement and will stop providing new movies to Netflix (which is how The Verge and The New York Times has it).
Though they represent a relatively small portion of Netflix’s current total offerings, if Disney does pull them it would be a fairly big loss for the streaming service, and would mean Netflix would lose the selling of point of an affiliation with big Disney brands like Marvel and Star Wars. It also explains why Netflix has been investing so heavily in its own original content in recent years; so that went companies like Disney decide to make their own Netflix, Netflix still has enough content to make itself a desirable choice for consumers.
More details are coming but in the meantime, here’s my advice: Don’t throw away your Blu-rays and DVDs. Unless you like shelling out another ten bucks a month every month to all the different studios that put them out. Because that could be the way we’re headed.