In recent entertainment news, Disney has announced the removal of their IP from the Netflix streaming service starting 2019. Netflix and Disney entered into a streaming partnership in 2012 with a landmark deal that gave Netflix exclusive rights to streaming Disney productions. Now, only a year after the deal officially took effect, the streaming superstar and the House of Mouse have parted ways.
So what does this mean for the future of streaming and the industry at large?
It seemed to be inevitable that large media corporations would see the success of Netflix and Amazon’s streaming services and want a piece of the pie for themselves. Disney, being one of the largest players in the entertainment field, is the first to take a step in that direction.
Bob Iger, the longtime CEO of Disney, announced that, along with the new ESPN streaming service, Disney will also be starting its own “Disney-Only” streaming service which will house their Star Wars, Marvel, and original programming. This comes hot on the heels of Disney acquiring a majority stake in the streaming service BAMtech, which will allow them their own independent method of streaming.
As a side note to all you Marvel fans, Netflix will get to keep and continue co-producing their own Marvel TV series such as Daredevil, Jessica Jones and The Defenders. The fate of the Star Wars and Marvel films are, however, still in discussion.
Already, however, Disney has said that you will not be able to view Disney and ESPN products on one service. In addition, subscribers will need a cable subscription to stream ESPN’s normal cable programming through the Disney streaming, so is it possibly dead on arrival?
In any case, the move raises plenty of new questions. Will other media corporations such as Warner Bros, Discovery, and Viacom make the jump as well? How many will we see in addition to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO, Showtime, Starz, and Youtube? Many traditional cable-based companies are cautiously moving into the streaming sector already. In any case, the other large corporations and competitors of Disney are going to be watching their experiment with baited breath.
Online piracy was down to the lowest levels in 5 years since the Intellectual Property Office began monitoring in 2012, mainly due to streaming services such as Spotify and Netflix, which provide a cheap and convenient alternative to cable SOURCE. Should the market become too saturated with streaming services, will we see it rise once again?
The good news is that the quality of television content has risen significantly ever since streaming services began, giving people a leaner, better option to cable and keeping traditional studios and networks accountable. Disney has verbally committed to an increase in original content creation, which means even more choices in which content to watch. Does this signal the beginning of the end for cable?
And, of course… for those of us in the industry, more content being created means more work! Yay!
What will come of the future of streaming and evolution of the entertainment industry at large? Only time will tell, but for now, we await further news of the fate of the Netflix/Disney partnership!