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Netflix's Exclusive Disney Deal to Bring Big Movies to U.S. Subscribers

Still from Zootopia
Sean Fang Thu, 26/05/2016 - 16:08

With Hulu and Amazon snapping at the heels of Netflix, the streaming giant has never been under more pressure in the key U.S. market, but the imminent commencement of an exclusivity deal with Disney could bring the biggest movies to Netflix on a regular basis.

Rival Hulu now has an ad-free option (which was announced at the same time as the deal which saw long time Netflix supporter Epix moving its hit movies to Hulu), and with Amazon introducing a standalone streaming product, the timing of the deal, which was signed more than three years ago, couldn't be better.

Starting in September, Netflix will be the exclusive pay-TV home for most of Disney's movies, from studios Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Lucasfilms. This means that in the U.S., Netflix will have first airing rights of all of Disney's movies starting with 2016 theatrical releases (which sadly means aforementioned The Force Awakens falls out of the deal). These releases include 'Zootopia,' 'Captain America: Civil War,' 'Alice Through the Looking Glass,' and 'Finding Dory,' would be available for instant and unlimited streaming on Netflix straight after their Blu-ray and DVD release. The exclusive deal means rivals Amazon and Hulu will miss out on all of these movies for the foreseeable future, as will cable channels.

The exclusivity deal is believed to have cost Netflix $300 million in total.

Unfortunately, Australian Netflix subscribers again miss out on this box office bonanza. While the Aussie version of Netflix will be getting some Disney releases (currently, 'Ant-Man' and 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' stand out as the titles not available on other streaming platforms), those that want the best of Disney will have to employ the services of a geo-unblocker to access the US (and Canada) versions of Netflix.

As for 'The Force Awakens', Starz still has streaming rights to to the super hit in the U.S., but with more Star Wars movies coming this year and the next few years, Netflix will become the home to Star Wars. And Marvel. And Pixar, and all of Disney's past, present and future hits.

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