Entertainment giant The Walt Disney Company has recently announced its separation from Netflix and its plans to have its own video streaming services.
When The Walt Disney Company announced
on Tuesday, August 8, that it would be bidding goodbye to Netflix, many folks, including myself, proceeded to freak out and try to watch as many Disney movies on the video streaming service as possible before it was too late. However, it wasn't until later that I (and I'm sure many others) realized that this separation wouldn't take effect until 2019. So, if you've been feverishly trying to watch those Disney movies, you've got time.
The announcement included Disney's plans to launch its own streaming services -- one for sports (ESPN) and the other for films and television shows. With the $1.5 billion purchase of BAMTech, a streaming service company, it will give Disney the opportunity for direct-to-customer services.
Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, said in regards to the acquisition of BAMTech,
The media landscape is increasingly defined by direct relationships between content creators and consumers, and our control of BAMTech's full array of innovative technology will give us the power to forge those connections, along with the flexibility to quickly adapt to shifts in the market.
This acquisition and the launch of our direct-to-customer services mark an entirely new growth strategy for the Company."
Disney's ESPN streaming service will offer a lot of the same content that it currently offers through cable television. The ESPN-branded multi-sport streaming service will launch in early 2018 and will include roughly 10,000 live games from various leagues such as the MLB, NHL, and MLS. The only major leagues missing from that lineup are the NFL and NBA games, two of the most popular professional sports in the country.
For the Disney-branded service, Disney movies currently on Netflix will be continue to be available through the end of 2019. This includes Moana
, Finding Dory
, and many others, as well as Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, and ABC television shows.
I know I've been itching to know what this separation means for Marvel and Lucasfilm, two of Disney's biggest assets. Turns out Disney and Netflix are still trying to figure that out
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Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, and Rian Johnson promoting "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" at Disney D23 Expo.[/caption]
What does this mean for Star Wars: The Last Jedi
(slated for December 2017 theatrical release) and Avengers: Infinity War
(May 2018)? And what about television shows like Marvel's Agents of SHIELD
on ABC and Disney XD's Star Wars Rebels
, which are both Disney AND Marvel/Lucasfilm? Will they be on Netflix or on Disney's new VOD service? These are the questions I'd like answered. So, I guess we're going to have to wait and see what the two companies decide.
Disney's move seems logical as there's been a fear of cord-cutting in the last few years, with many media companies and networks losing out on subscribers to video streaming services. Back in 2012, Disney and Netflix signed the agreement
to feature content from the House of Mouse, starting in 2016. It was said that Netflix paid about $300 million for the rights to stream Disney's movies and shows.
After the announcement of Disney leaving became public knowledge, Netflix's stock fell
more than five percent. But even with that drop, Netflix's stock is up 40 percent from last year.
Besides, Netflix doesn't seem too far gone without Disney. It recently acquired the comic book publisher Millarworld
, which is the publisher behind the Kick-Ass comics and Kingsman: The Secret Service comics, both of which have been turned into successful feature films. With Millarworld now in Netflix's pocket, who knows what kind of original content could be pumped out within the next few years. With popular original shows like Orange Is the New Black
, Stranger Things
, and Ozarks
, Netflix should be just fine without the entertainment giant.
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"Netflix may be losing content from its most important supplier in Disney, but its strategy to pivot to originals, build its own global content brand, and vertically integrate into self production mitigate this loss," said Morgan Stanley to the Financial Times Group
. Morgan Stanley
is a company that provides investment banking/management and wealth management services worldwide.
What are your thoughts on Disney branching out and creating its own VOD streaming services? How do you think this will affect other services such as Netflix and even Hulu? Sound off in the comments section below, and let's get the conversation started.