Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed on Tuesday that the company is starting their own streaming website, which will launch in 2019, and will bring to an end to their deal with Netflix that only began in 2012.
Iger told CNBC that Disney had decided to exercise a clause in its contract with Netflix that will see its output removed from the streaming service. Disney’s own streaming website will be the home of their 2019 theatrical releases, which will include Pixar’s Toy Story 4, Lucasfilm’s Star Wars 9, Disney’s live-action version of The Lion King, Marvel’s Captain Marvel and beyond.
Iger has also promised that Disney will make “significant investment” to bring exclusive films and television series to the platform, while it will host various Disney movies and its various television shows aimed at kids.
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Currently, Netflix is the home to a plethora of Disney films, which includes Moana, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Captain America: Civil War. Tuesday’s announcement failed to reveal whether or not these films will be taken down in the near future, or if the 2012 deal with Disney means that Netflix can stream them for several years to come.
However, despite Bob Iger’s claims that Disney still had a “good relationship” with Netflix, the studio will almost certainly be eager to make sure that all of their output is available from the same platform. All of which means that viewers, and their wallets, will be the ones that suffer. Because in order to gain access to these films from 2019, Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm fans are invariably going to have to pay extra cash. If not, they’ll be stuck with what Netflix has to offer.
The fact that Netflix’s stock immediately dropped over 5 percent in the wake of this announcement underlines just how much a blow this is to the company. Yesterday’s confirmation that they have made their first acquisition in the shape of Millarworld, and its variety of comic-book properties, suggests they’re already looking to repair this damage. Whether that will be enough is still very much up for debate.