While not directly mentioning Star Wars in it’s third quarter fiscal earnings, Disney’s plans to enter the streaming wars was made very clear as a Netflix-style direct to consumer platform was announced.
Disney has announced that they will be ending their partnership with Netflix and launching their own streaming service sometime in 2019. During their Q3 earnings call earlier today, CEO Bob Iger stated that they are currently not sure how they will be addressing the distribution of Lucasfilm/Marvel films with this new streaming service. The idea of each property having its own dedicated streaming service has been considered, but nothing definitive has been chosen as of yet.
The new Disney-branded service will become the exclusive home in the U.S. for subscription-video-on-demand viewing of the newest live action and animated movies from Disney and Pixar, beginning with the 2019 theatrical slate, which includes Toy Story 4, the sequel to Frozen, and The Lion King from Disney live-action, along with other highly anticipated movies. Disney 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. Additionally, the service will feature a vast collection of library content, including Disney and Pixar movies and Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD television programming.
With this strategic shift, Disney will end its distribution agreement with Netflix for subscription streaming of new releases, beginning with the 2019 calendar year theatrical slate.
This marks the second big digital platform announcement from Disney this year as we learned back in May about the launch of their new Disney Digital Network.
You can read today’s official press release posted on The Walt Disney website.
Surely a live action Star Wars series would be the obvious choice to bring in a crazy amount of subscribers, as well as the lure of more Marvel live action series. Either way, Disney is sitting pretty.