Now, Netflix is locking horns with a company that has been steadily expanding upon its Disney franchise during a shopping spree that has seen it snap up other major studios.
At the same time, nearly every company that makes a video is finding its way into the streaming media business
. Disney is planning its own Netflix competitor for 2019, backed by content holdings like Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar. Similar competitors from Amazon and Comcast are already taking shape. With the streaming subscription business growing this fast, everyone wants a piece – and they’re ready to fight for it.
Disney is approaching the streaming industry from a “position of strength, confidence and unbridled optimism,” CEO Bob Iger said Thursday. Iger has led the company since 2005 and expects to step down when his contract ends in 2021.
Disney Plus will roll out in the U.S. on November 12 at a price of $6.99 per month, or $69.99 per year. That’s well below the $13 monthly fee Netflix charges for its most popular streaming plan, Like Netflix, Disney Plus will be free of ads. Subscribers will be able to download all of the shows and movies on Disney’s service to watch offline.
Disney animated classics, including “Aladdin” and “The Jungle Book” will be available on the service when it launches. But Netflix will still have a far deeper video programming lineup after spending tens of billions of dollars during the past six years on original shows such as “House of Cards,” ”Stranger Things” and “The Crown. It’s too early to say exactly what that will look like.
Although Disney has an enviable track record of producing shows and films that attract huge audiences, its attempt to build its own Netflix is risky. The interesting thing is both companies have ended up in the same place, but they’ve come to it from vastly different backgrounds. Disney will also contend with a new streaming service from Apple, which is expected to be released in the fall. Apple has not yet said how much its service will cost or when exactly it will launch. Terminating its deal with Netflix will cost Disney about $150 million in licensing revenue alone during its current fiscal year ending in September. Disney is betting its new service will quickly offset that. By dangling a mix of familiar franchises and beloved animated classics, along with original programming, it figures the new service will be irresistible to families, even if they already subscribe to other services. It expects Disney Plus to be profitable during its 2024 fiscal year.With nearly 140 million worldwide subscribers, Netflix already has proven its mettle while warding off one competitive threat after another in the 12 years since it pivoted from DVD-by-mail rentals to video streaming.
That fight will have real implications for consumers as studios pull back licensed content and silo it into paid subscriptions. Right now, a single Netflix subscription will get you Marvel movies and DC shows alongside in-house originals — but soon, both of those may leave for parent-company subscriptions at Disney and Time Warner respectively. It’s a kind of streaming Cold War, as each company tries to leverage its own franchises into a standalone subscription bundle.
It will be interesting to see which will survive with the optimum value to its contents as between Disney and Netflix, Apple Tv Plus with its undisclosed features still stands on a better and best chances to take over the rivals as the company is itself is so big that it can buy all these flourishing as well as already flourished streaming sites.