Disney announced today that beginning in 2019 they will have their own streaming service exclusive to their content. In 2016 Disney’s deal with Netflix began to take place, having Netflix be the streaming provider for new and back-catalogue Disney titles. Disney announced that as that deal expires, all new live action and animated content will show up on it’s proprietary service. On a recent podcast BK said that Disney would buy out Netflix at some point in the future, and while I disagree with him, he does believe that this announcement is the beginning of that plan.
What this doesn’t mean, however, is that any content currently on Netflix or elsewhere is going anywhere anytime soon. Even after Disney creates their own service, they’ve stated publicly that it will not include Lucasfilm or Marvel content initially, if at all. This, to me, seems like Disney grabbing at straws, trying to feed off of the success of streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. But Disney is going into their service not even knowing themselves what they’re going to include.
Every company seems to want a slice of the streaming service pie, and production companies such as CBS are already trying to find their niche in a market dominated by Amazon, Netflix, HBO, and Hulu (30% of which is owned by Disney). Starting in 2019, we will have yet another service we have to subscribe to in order to get the content we want, and Disney seems happy to have content scattered around different services at least for the short term. Also in the announcement was that ESPN will have their own streaming service coming in 2018, while Disney tries to breath new life into the channel that used to be their cash cow, but has been bleeding money since 2015. It’s possible Disney will find a way to make this all work, but at this point I’m skeptical this is anything more than an attempt to cash in when an opportunity arose.