Disney wants to play a bigger role in the movie streaming service business.
Disney streaming service to launch in 2019
In its Tuesday earnings report, the company announced plans to separate from Netflix. Disney will end its distribution deal with with the streaming giant and launch its own branded direct-to-consumer streaming service in 2019.
If you’re a Netflix customer, don’t worry too much. Netflix won’t lose its Disney movies immediately. Customers will still be able to watch their favorite movies and shows that are already available on the service. Disney will cut ties with Netflix starting with their original 2019 content, meaning “Toy Story 4,” the live-action version of “The Lion King,” and “Frozen 2” will all be available on Disney’s new streaming service, but not on Netflix.
The entertainment giant will also launch its own ESPN video streaming service in early 2018. Content from MLB, MLS, NHL, and more will be featured through the service. Disney is buying a majority ownership of BAM Tech, a major streaming company, for $1.58 billion in order to power these services, according to CNBC.
Disney CEO Bob Iger said on a conference call Wednesday that “these announcements mark the beginning of what will be an entirely new growth strategy for the company.”
What this means for Netflix customers
Customers will still be able to see existing movies from Disney and Pixar on Netflix until their current deal expires. That date has not been announced publicly. Marvel TV series like “Luke Cage” and “The Punisher” will continue to stream on Netflix for now and, according to The Verge, Netflix users should be able to stream the next two Star Wars movies, but will miss out on the final installment.