Walt Disney Co. is all set to launch streaming services similar to Netflix. In an attempt to change the global face of media and entertainment, Disney will launch two streaming services- one for sports and another one for film and television. The move is aimed to capture the young audiences worldwide who are moving to more digital platforms rather the traditional means.
The first of the two streams- ESPN service will be available from 2018 and will feature over 10,000 sporting events including the big prize Major League Baseball. The film and television segment of the stream will, however, go live in 2019. The interesting thing about this will be the original content streamed and developed by Walt Disney Studios. The move comes when services like Netflix have proved to be a serious risk to conventional media and television channels. Though some companies have actually made big bucks by streaming their content on Netflix, yet there are many who still have their doubts.
Disney is following the footsteps of many established media companies. Brands like HBO, CBS, Showtime, and Amazon have their own digital channels. Disney’s shift in media and entertainment strategy comes after the company faced weak fiscal third-quarter earnings. The company has stated that it would terminate its distribution agreement with Netflix and start its own streaming service. The viewers can simply go to the Disney website and watch these movies and television series’. Industry experts are seeing this as a direct competition between two biggest players in the industry namely Disney and Netflix. To take things ahead, Disney has already bought 75% shares in streaming video company Bamtech. The amount paid for the deal is reportedly around $1.58 billion. Disney had previously bought out 33% stake in ESPN to stream Major League Baseball, in August 2016. The ESPN deal turned out to be profit engine for Disney.
Talking to tabloids, the senior officials at the Disney stated that the stream would include exclusive films and TV shows. The stream is expected to be a must have for many as it will many popular brands like Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Entertainment, and Lucasfilm. So hot shot franchises like “Star Wars,” “The Avengers” and “Toy Story” would all be on this platform.
Netflix and Disney have been working together for years and despite the new streaming service from Disney, Netflix will continue to stream Marvel TV projects. The duo of Netflix and Disney has been a strong figure in the market. Much of this is owed to the success of “House of Cards,” “Orange Is the New Black” and “Master of None.” But with Disney launching its own streaming service, Netflix now finds itself competing with a $167-billion titan.
Disney’s decision has already sent waves across the global media and entertainment business. Internet service providers are looking quite happy as many of these services need high-speed internet service.