Wednesday, 13 December, 2017

Disney Announces Its Own Streaming Service, To Launch 2019

Disney Buys Majority Share of BAMTech, Will Launch New Streaming Services Disney Announces Its Own Streaming Service, To Launch 2019
Melody Ballard | 12 August, 2017, 00:29

The media conglomerate said it will launch an ESPN-branded multi-sport video streaming service in early 2018, followed by a new Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service in 2019, powered by BAMTech.

The exec also noted that the other option on the table was to add the Marvel and Star Wars films to the new Disney streaming service.

Hours after Disney announced it would be splitting from Netflix, shares for the streaming service dropped by more than 4 percent. I'm sure many will, but will it be enough to sustain a full Disney streaming service?

Users will be able to stream Disney and Pixar movies, Disney channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD content, as well as original movies and television shows.

ESPN has faced the decline of TV subscribers in recent years and as a result, it was very much on the cards that it will have its own stand alone product but disclosure of a distribution agreement with its old associate Netflix has been hard on the investors. In a blog post following Disney's announcement, Greenfield lambasted the strategic steps the company and its Chief Executive Robert Iger have taken.

Disney is still working out the specifics of the service, but the company said it would be the "exclusive home in the USA for subscription-video-on-demand viewing of the newest live action and animated movies from Disney and Pixar".

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Though the cost of the move will hurt the company's profit in the near term, the strength of the company's content may help it succeed in the long run, some analysts said. While no one else now has the IP might of Disney, we are already seeing this stream-based channel approach adopted by Netflix's other big rival, Amazon. But everything has a weakness and Disney's just fired a couple of proton torpedoes squarely into Netflix's with the announcement that it's pulling its movies from the service.

Netflix had and lost Disney content before, in 2011, which it was receiving it via a deal with Starz. Disney's IP is staggering, over a few short years it has bought up the rights to Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Marvel - there are simply no bigger franchises out there.

Fears of cord-cutting really took hold of the industry back in 2015, when a number of media companies and networks-Disney and ESPN included-reported a mass subscriber exodus.

While not the best omen for a direct-to-consumer service from Disney, there are some notable differences compared to the service announced yesterday.

If Disney wanted to go the route of standalone streaming services for all its brands, it would have the content to do that. During the Q3 earnings call, Iger acknowledged the Netflix partnership would continue, but also made it clear that Disney will also be producing content exclusive to its upcoming platform.

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