In an article posted on Variety that provides an in-depth examination of the entertainment industry’s continued endeavor to replicate/exceed the direct-to-consumer (DTC for short) streaming video business model that Netflix has made so successful over the years, Disney CEO Bob Iger referred to the new Disney streaming service as Disney Play.
And having a successful launch of Disney Play will be the main focus of the company as Iger said the streaming service will be “the biggest priority of the company during calendar [year] 2019.”
In short, the evolution of the DTC marketplace for content will be costly, messy and risky. For starters, Disney will say goodbye to about $300 million in annual revenue it currently gets from Netflix for pay-TV rights to its theatrical releases, starting with its 2019 movie slate. Those movies — including “Captain Marvel,” “Dumbo,” “Toy Story 4,” “The Lion King,” “Frozen 2” and a new “Star Wars” installment — will now be key selling points for the new service Iger has referred to as “Disney Play.”
Disney is counting on the exclusivity factor of selected Marvel, “Star Wars,” Pixar and Disney-branded properties to drive interest in the service. Iger has acknowledged that the Disney Play price tag will be less than Netflix’s $8-$14 monthly fee — a reflection of the lighter content load. “We have the luxury of programming this product with programs from those brands or derived from those brands, which obviously creates a demand and gives us the ability to not necessarily be in the volume game, but to be in the quality game,” Iger said.
The new streaming service is set to launch towards the end of next year.