If you (or your kids) have ever longed for one place where you can stream only Disney movies, your wish is Disney’s command (and business imperative).
Since September, Netflix has held the US rights to Disney’s films, including those under the Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm subsidiaries.
But beginning with the studio’s 2019 theatrical releases – such as Toy Story 4, the sequel to Frozen and live-action The Lion King – Disney says it 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.”
Like its streaming service rivals, Disney also plans to make a significant investment in original content.
What about the UK? There’s no confirmation whether the Disney content available on Netflix’s catalogue in the UK will be affected, nor is it clear whether the service (if rolled out to the UK) will replace or be an extension of DisneyLife, Disney’s existing app-based video service.
The news is certainly a blow for Netflix – shares have fallen 4% in light of the news. But the streaming giant will still exclusively distribute Disney’s new releases – the next Star Wars movie, for example – for the rest of this year and throughout 2018.
The announcement follows The Walt Disney Company’s agreement to acquire majority ownership of BAMTech – the video streaming company founded by Major League Baseball – which will also spur the launch of an ESPN-branded multi-sport video streaming service next year.