October 4, 2019
The streaming video wars are heating up.
With Disney set to launch a branded $6.99 subscription streaming video service (Disney+) on Nov. 12, it has reportedly begun circling the wagons around its media brands — denying Netflix ads from airing on select entertainment networks.
Netflix, in a shrewd marketing move, had apparently upped running ad-spots specifically on Disney networks.
Impacted properties include ABC (notably the Oscars), FX, Freedom and National Geographic. Disney will still accept Netflix advertising on ESPN since the SVOD pioneer does not stream live sports.
In a statement first reported by The Wall Street Journal, Disney said that as the “direct-to-consumer business has evolved, with many more entrants looking to advertise in traditional television, and across our portfolio networks … [it has] “reevaluated our strategy to reflect the comprehensive business relationships have with many of these companies, as direct-to-consumer is one element.”
While rival media/tech companies also ready proprietary streaming services, it is unknown if their marketing has been impacted by Disney’s move.
But then they aren’t Netflix, which with more than 150 million subscribers worldwide, dominates the SVOD ecosystem.
In 2017, Disney began pulling back original movies (i.e. Star Wars, Pixar) and select Marvel programming from Netflix as it began assembling Disney+. The move was noteworthy considering the two companies in 2015 inked a landmark distribution deal making Netflix the exclusive pay-TV distributor for Disney movies.
In a related move, Disney CEO Bob Iger removed himself from the board of Apple as the tech giant readies a reboot of its Apple TV platform to include subscription streaming video and original content.