Disney’s New Streaming Service: What It Means for You
By Tess Farrand, Staff Writer
Technology continues to evolve and disrupt. Remember ABC, CBS, and NBC ruling the airwaves? Remember VHS? Vinyl? Remember when Amazon only sold books?
Enter Disney, the latest media giant to want their share of your home screens (and your monthly subscription fee).
Disney has announced a new streaming service to rival Netflix to launch Fall of 2019. What will this mean for you? Let’s first look at the landscape.
Recently, Disney grabbed headlines with their big Fox-merger. This means Disney can now bring to their new Netflix-esque service Fox’s mammoth library of movies, Disney movies, including their animated movies, Pixar movies, ABC owned television series, Marvel movies, and that not so inconsequential Star Wars brand. Disney’s recent movies like AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, BLACK PANTHER and INCREDIBLES 2 rank among the top five worldwide grosses for this year.
What’s more the future movies for all these brands will eventually end up being available exclusively on the new Disney streaming service. So, hold on to your horses because in the next few years we’ll see major adjustments.
It’s an enormous risk for Disney. Ken Ziffren, a guest columnist at The Hollywood Reporter speculates that Disney’s streaming service will forgo potentially $150 million per movie in lost revenue by not licensing their hit movies to Netflix and other streaming networks. Will Disney make that up in monthly subscribers? At their estimated monthly subscriber fee of $6 to $8, the streaming service will need to be a huge success.
So, what does it mean to you?
-You’ve got to get another monthly subscription if you want all the Disney brand movies. It’s rumored that Disney will be well below Netflix’s $10.99, at least initially, but will you drop one for the other or find a way to pay for both? Bear in mind, if it’s successful, the price could go up.
-The content distribution may follow Disney’s previous strategy of “vaulting.” In the past, Disney only allowed a limited number of titles onto the home video market to create an “event” when they would bring a title “out of the vault,” like SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS for example. So, while it seems like you’d have all the Disney content at your fingertips, it might not turn out that way.
-It could create a demand so that Disney will make even more content based on their brands. The new Star Wars series will be launched on the service and others could follow.
-Disney will have Netflix-like data and hopefully, be responsive to what consumers actually watch. Streaming services have an advantage over movies and conventional TV in that they know if you started a program but stopped watching it, ignored it, or streamed it and watched the recommended ones after it. This could be the best upside – we can get more wholesome programs based on demand and not the whims of a TV executive.
So, are you in? Let us know in the comment section.
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