The Netflix-Disney Empire
By: Connor Lenahan
Even if you don’t follow the intricacies of streaming rights and the ongoing battles between Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, this is going to be of great interest of you. Earlier today Netflix casually dropped an atomic bomb on their competitor. From a press release today: “From September onwards, Netflix will become the exclusive US pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar.”
So let’s pause for a second to realize the scope of this deal. This means that if you are trying to watch any of the Toy Story films, Star Wars, Iron Man, Captain America, the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, and a boatload of other classics then you are going to be able to through Netflix exclusively.
Think for a second about some of the biggest markets for streaming services – families. How often do parents put on Netflix for their children? With a seemingly endless library of age-appropriate content, Netflix has largely replaced a huge video library for most households. Disney and Pixar are some of the most beloved – potentially the most beloved – films of all time from a family standpoint, making this a huge power move. Who would invest in a Hulu subscription when all the creatures and characters you love are on Netflix?
And then you get the rights to the MCU and Star Wars, which happen to be the two most valuable film properties on the planet. This is no exaggeration. the highest grossing movie of 2016 is Civil War and the second highest grossing film of all time is The Force Awakens. Even for someone that uses Netflix far less often than most this news damn near eliminates my want to have subscriptions with competitors.
This will be exceedingly interesting to watch play out over the next few months and with accurate financials of the deal, but Netflix just threw the gauntlet down.