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Disney to End Netflix Deal, Launching Its Own Streaming Platform

A screenshot of Netflix's website listing available Disney movies
Sean Fang Thu, 10/08/2017 - 15:24

Disney has signaled its intentions to withdraw all of its theatrical content from Netflix and launch its own streaming platform in 2019. The announcement comes after the studio increased its shareholdings in BAMTech, a firm that specialises in providing streaming infrastructure to other streaming platforms, including HBO and the WWE.

In a fiscal note, Disney CEO Bob Iger outlined the studio's streaming plans, which includes pulling content from Netflix by the end of 2018. The current plans to remove content from Netflix only includes Disney theatrical content - a decision on theatrical content from Disney's subsidiaries, Lucasfilm and Marvel, is yet to be made.

"The media landscape is increasingly defined by direct relationships between content creators and consumers, and our control of BAMTech’s full array of innovative technology will give us the power to forge those connections, along with the flexibility to quickly adapt to shifts in the market," Iger said in the fiscal note. "This acquisition and the launch of our direct-to-consumer services mark an entirely new growth strategy … one that takes advantage of the incredible opportunity that changing technology provides us to leverage the strength of our great brands."

Iger noted that the studio's current plans for overseas markets will "vary from market to market", but hinted that Disney's streaming platform can be seen as a "global product".

Disney signed an exclusive agreement with Netflix in 2012 for access to the studio's latest movies in the U.S. market. Netflix shares dropped 5% in value following Disney's announcement.

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