Star Wars, Marvel moving from Netflix to brand new Disney streaming service in 2019
Our favorite mouse's big house looks to make us get behind a new app/service for every franchise we'll ever love.
With Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and more in its fortress, Disney’s about to build the happiest streaming service on Earth.
Past Thursday’s news that Disney plans to migrate its top movie titles exclusively to its new, proprietary streaming service in 2019 isn’t really news at all. It’s just Disney exercising the first rule of business: Know your value.
Disney has licensed its films to Netflix (and many other places) since 2012, which was also good business at the time, because Netflix was paying top dollar and Disney didn’t have its own streaming service. Soon it will. When it comes, they want you to sign up for it.
So it’s probably no coincidence that Disney’s downstream licensing deals — with Netflix, Starz, and with anyone else out there who might be hosting Disney/Marvel/Lucasfilm content — will be expiring before that 2019 streaming-service launch. (Funny how the world’s most dominant media company is run by very smart people. Wonder if there’s a connection?)
Some folks are unhappy to hear that Netflix won’t carry Disney movies anymore. To which I say, don’t be sad that it’s over — be glad that it happened! You got to re-watch Rogue One and Beauty and the Beast and Doctor Strange and Inside Out alongside your favorite Netflix shows for nine bucks (500 Rupees) a month! And you will, for more than another year.
And if you love Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm or Marvel movies (many do, I’m told) you’re going to love having those all in one place, rather than scattered around to the highest bidders. No other Hollywood studio has this kind of brand affinity or leverage with fans — which is why no other Hollywood studio is putting together this kind of vertical platform.
But is Disney stuff worth 10 bucks a month all by itself? Let me ask you this: If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one library of original movies and shows to choose from, whose would it be? Netflix, which has been building originals for four years, or Disney, which has 400+ movies in its vault?
Disney’s streaming service is the very reason Stranger Things exists — and House of Cards, and Narcos, and G.L.O.W., and Orange is the New Black etc. etc. etc. — because Netflix knew years ago that the big studios would catch up to its platform model, creating an urgency to build a strong library of their own stuff. Stuff they, themselves, can hoard for as long as they like. (Turns out the world’s other dominant media company is also run by very smart people. See a pattern yet?)
So when Disney chief Bob Iger confirmed at a Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference in New York on Thursday that its exclusive streaming services (the other being for ESPN/sports) would keep the good stuff to itself, why worry? It just means you love Disney content, so you’re going to sign up for Disney streaming.
This was all inevitable, all part of the big, grand, cord-cutting plan. Because with all that good stuff becoming even more available a la carte, maybe Disney streaming is the moment you finally dump that $125 (the national average) monthly cable bill.
Think about it:
Amazon Prime ($99 per year, so $8.25 monthly)
Disney (let’s call it … $12.99)
HBO Go ($14.99)
That brings the total = ~ $53.
That’s half the price!
Heck, throw in CBS All Access and a nice digital TV antenna ($30-$80) to get your local network channels and you’re still coming out way ahead, friend!
So why are you grumbling?
Leave that to Comcast, AT&T Uverse, Verizon, DirecTV, Dish … right?