Disney is to pull its movies from Netflix and take on the streaming company with the launch of its own service from 2019, showing family-friendly fare such as the Toy Story films, Frozen and its forthcoming sequel, and The Lion King. The move is being seen as a potential major challenge to Netflix, whose shares fell 4% in after-hours trading on the back of the news, and to Amazon.
Disney said it had not yet made a decision on whether to include Marvel, home to the Avengers franchise and characters such as Iron Man and Captain America, and Lucasfilm, the company behind Indiana Jones and Star Wars, in the new service. The company has been identified as a potential buyer of Netflix, with which it has an exclusive film distribution deal in the US, with a market value of about $75bn.
Disney is launching its service in the US, but chief executive Bob Iger told analysts to think of it as a global service. The company is also launching a streaming service for ESPN, the sports network with rights to top flight-competitions including Major League Baseball and the NFL.
Sigh. The thought of having to decide between multiple subscription services instead off all in one place.