As of 2019 Disney and Netflix will be parting ways. This is a major move from Disney, who plans to launch a streaming service exclusive to Disney branded content in early 2019.
Disney, who owns companies such as: Marvel, Lucasfilms, ESPN, ABC television network and WaltDisney Parks and Resorts, feels that they have enough content to justify launching an entirely new streaming service. That means all of your favorite Marvel and Star Wars movies will no longer make rotations on Netflix, but will be exclusive to the Disney streaming application. Netflix will hang onto its Netflix exclusives such as Marvel’s Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders, but movies like Captain America Civil War and Doctor Strange will part their ways with the streaming service.
Disney aims to gather a large audience through the promise of Star Wars and Marvel content exclusive to their app. Star Wars Episode 8 director Rain Johnson has been hired by Disney to create a trilogy Star Wars spinoff, that will come only to the app once it leaves theaters. There is talk about a new Marvel television show that will headline the streaming service, and fans of High School Musical and Monster Inc. will be excited to hear that Disney plans to create series for both franchises as well.
Netflix plans to raise its monthly fees to alleviate some of the loss that will come with Disney’s parting. There is currently no definite pricing, as Netflix’s prices have already seen a rise coming at the end of 2017. Disney has not released many details on their streaming service and how affordable its monthly fees will be, but it’s safe to assume that it will be similar to Netflix’s prices.
This doesn’t bode well for Netflix, who has seen a major competitor in Amazon Video’s efforts to catch up in the world of streaming. Amazon could potentially profit heavily from the splitting of the two giants. Amazon features an integrated subscription service, one where you can manage subscriptions such as HBO, Showtime and Starz directly from the Amazon Video webpage. This saves the consumer an extra step. Apple TV has also allowed users to easily manage channels and subscriptions from their applications.
Netflix won’t be going away anytime soon. The company has seen its foundations shaken before; remember when Netflix used to send DVDs in the mail? Netflix has proven that it has the potential and desire to adapt to new circumstances and barricades that may get in its way. Disney is currently winning this streaming war based only on words alone. The promise of original content for some of the largest franchises in television and film sounds incredible, but Disney hasn’t produced quality-streaming applications in the past. It’s no surprise that the company has the budget to create one of the best streaming platforms on the market, but they’ve delayed their release to make sure they get it right. Disney has gotten their target audience’s hopes up and they don’t want to disappoint by releasing an application too early. Disney plans to release an ESPN streaming platform in 2018, somewhat of a test subject for their larger streaming platform.
So let’s talk about something scary here. Disney owns Marvel and Lucasfilm. This is terrifying. The promise of original shows could be incredible and could expand on these already vast cinematic universes, but it could also crush aspects of the franchises that longtime fans love. If Disney is going to capture users with the promise of ambitious products, I hope that time, effort, and care are placed into crafting these shows that will possibly be the only reason people subscribe to the service in the first place.
By Will Blase, features editor