Is Disney Ditching Netflix to start its Own Streaming Service?

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Were you getting used to all of the new Disney stuff hitting Netflix? Well, you got some tears that need to be running down your cheeks, because that deal is on the way out. The company has just announced plans to end its distribution agreement with Netflix in 2019. And instead, it is thinking about launching its own streaming service sometime during the same year.

Moving on, Disney has paid $1.58 billion to acquire majority ownership of the digital media company BAMTech. It will provide the resources for the company to make its own streaming service. It will also be home to new Disney films like the upcoming Toy Story 4 and Frozen 2. Interestingly, there are also plans for an ESPN-specific streaming service. It will launch in 2018 offering, “10,000 live regional, national, and international games and events a year.” CEO Bob Iger explained the move to CNBC as a logical step that “represents a big strategic shift.”

Disney with its own streaming service

If you think about it, it is a natural step for the company. It has a huge library of valuable movies and shows to offer. And Disney makes it hard to get a lot of its top movies by requiring people to purchase, rather than rent a film for instance. Therefore it makes sense that we are seeing the company try to get even bigger profits from streaming.

“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,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger.

But don’t worry: Netflix won’t lose its Disney movies right away. According to the company, it plants to cut Netflix off starting with the studio’s 2019 films. Moreover, Netflix adds that it will be able to keep all the Disney movies it gets through the end of that year. So, what does it mean? Well, that means that Netflix will be able to stream the next two Star Wars movies. However, it will miss out on the new trilogy’s final installment.

“We continue to do business with the Walt Disney Company on many fronts, including our ongoing deal with Marvel TV,” said a spokesperson from Netflix.

In conclusion, The Disney-branded streaming service will be the “exclusive home in the US for subscription-video-on-demand viewing. And it will kick off with new upcoming films. Moreover, they will add original movies, TV shows, and short-form content to the service. And if you love re-watching old and great movies, then this news is for you. The new service will be filled out with older movies from Disney and Pixar’s catalog and shows from Disney’s TV channels.

Armen Margarian

Armen Margarian is an attorney with The Margarian Law Firm.

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