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Walt Disney breaks few ties to set-up its own streaming service

Walt Disney breaks few ties to set-up its own streaming service

It's now confirmed by Disney executives that Disney and ESPN OTT streaming services are now on tap, embracing a direct to consumer model for content distribution.

The new Disney-branded streaming service will follow a similar offering from ESPN that will be available starting in 2018, the company said.

Disney said it will also make a "significant investment" in an annual slate of original movies, TV shows, short-form content and other Disney-branded exclusives for the service.

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

Alongside its third-quarter earnings report, Disney announced it will start pulling its movies from Netflix in 2019 - including its Marvel superhero movies. "It's been clear to us for a while with the future of this industry will be forged by direct relationships between content creators and consumers", said Iger on the earnings call (transcript courtesy of Seeking Alpha).

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Most believe Disney needed to respond to the migration of viewers from pay-TV packages to digital options sold a la carte, a shift that has hurt the company's cash cow, ESPN. The company will launch a streaming service in 2019 that features Disney films scheduled for release, along with material from the Disney Channel and other content. He included that not only movies but also the shows will come under this category. The new streaming services are a way to connect directly with consumers and take advantage of new viewing habits.

If Disney charged $5 per month, it would need about 5.8 million subscribers to match the income from Netflix, or 2.9 million subscribers at $10 per month. This is big news to both companies and will definitely put a dent into Netflix's subscriber base.

In what's an obvious move, Disney will launch its own streaming service and open up its vast archive of Disney films and TV shows. They don't see anything of Disney on Netflix.

We're creating a one-app experience so that from a consumer perspective there's a real ease-of use and ease-of-navigation, so that you can as an ESPN fan, you can go to one app, look at scores and highlights as you know the ESPN provides, authenticate it to watch the linear networks or buy an additional amount of live sports programming basically in the same experience on the same service.

And a year ago, the BBC also pulled "Doctor Who" from Netflix and Hulu, making Amazon Prime Video the exclusive US streaming service to offer the British TV show. They don't watch Disney.


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