Disney has announced that it is pulling all its movies from Netflix, as the company will be launching its own streaming service in the coming years.
As reported by CNBC, Disney made the announcement during its latest earnings report, stating that it intends to debut its own branded streaming service for US consumers in 2019, with a worldwide expansion to follow.
This means that all Disney and Pixar titles will be removed from Netflix, with the untitled streaming service serving as the new home for all Disney movies going forward. When the service launches in 2019, its initial lineup will include new movies such as Toy Story 4, Frozen 2, and the live-action adaptation of The Lion King.
Disney has been planning this shift for awhile, as the company purchased a 33 percent stake in BAM/Tech last August and is now spending $1.58 billion to acquire majority ownership of the tech company, whose technology will power Disney’s new streaming service.
“This represents a big strategic shift for the company,” Disney CEO Bob Iger told CNBC. “We felt that having control of a platform we’ve been very impressed with after buying 33 percent of it a year ago would give us control of our destiny.”
Since going into effect last year, Disney’s partnership with Netflix (which was actually announced back in 2012) has been an important one for the latter company, with premium content from Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel forming a significant chunk of Netflix’s entertainment offerings. Currently, subscribers can watch recent blockbuster titles like Moana, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Captain America: Civil War and losing those titles will no doubt come as a significant blow. However, Disney has not yet announced how it will handle licensing for its Lucasfilm and Marvel titles going forward, so there’s still a chance that Star Wars and Marvel movies could remain available on Netflix.
Additionally, Disney also announced that it will be launching an ESPN streaming service next year that will feature video content from the MLB, NHL, MLS and more. The company has yet to settle on pricing for either streaming service, though one notable difference is that ESPN will feature ads, while the Disney movie service will not. New movies will also not be released day and date with their theatrical releases, but rather arrive on the service approximately 9 to 10 months after their theatrical debut.
If you’re worried about not being able to watch every Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel title on Netflix before they get dumped, don’t hit the panic button yet, as Disney has given no indication as to when they plan to pull their titles from the service.