GM Thought of the Week: Disney join Netflix in the battle for audience streaming viewership


GM Thought of the Week: Disney join Netflix in the battle for audience streaming viewership

Disney is ending their partnership with Netflix at the end of this year in favour of their own new streaming service platform, Disney+ due for release in 2019. The platform will include Disney movies, TV shows and other streaming programming. Disney have begun removing popular content from competitor streaming service providers, though not renewing distribution deals. This will mean increases in competition amongst the companies providing these services as they fight for the attention of the consumer, which will ultimately cause a disruption for content viewers.


On the surface it’s great that viewers will have another streaming platform offering an array of content they can spend hours of time being entertained with. It will be the only platform you can stream Disney’s theatrical released movies- with a focus on live action shows, movies and animation. As well as content for fans from a range of franchises under their umbrella; Star Wars, MCU, Pixar or Disney.


Whilst this sounds dreamy if you’re an avid supporter- to others of us already subscribed to a number of streaming partners this move looks less straight forward and is not all lights, camera, and action for consumers. Disney are yet to announce the cost of the service however, you may be sitting here thinking (like me) “Not another subscription service added to the host of others we already have to choose from and pay for”. I personally can’t imagine my household being happy paying for Sky then Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. Will this move from Disney spark praise or frustration from consumers? Will avid Disney fans move off of Netflix/Amazon Prime in favour of Disney+?


With so many more service providers coming into the market over the last few years the market is being flooded with options for consumers, but to those who want everything or a selection of key streaming platforms. The costs and variations are stacking up and this move will likely cause consumers like myself to roll my eyes at the thought of another pay monthly streaming service. That said the hope will be that Disney offer a bundle for Disney+ alongside Hulu and ESPN+ which will make the prospect more attractive to a range of tastes, segments and audience demographics. Disney not known to do things in halves, have set their objectives for the platform high with the aim for Disney+ to become the #1 in terms of all family-friendly content. Whilst Hulu (Disney will control following takeover) will be a subscription for more edgy, adult content.


Whilst we sit back and wait for more announcements on Disney surrounding the specifics of Disney+ I’d recommend getting all your Disney nostalgia out on your current streaming services over the Christmas holidays, because going into next year this content will only be available on this new paid for streaming subscription Disney+. For us media folk it will be interesting to see how Disney a well-known traditional and original media titan adapts to take on a modern, popular digital phenomenon still in its adolescence Netflix.


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