Get ready nerds, it’s time to start binging. Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that all Star Wars and Marvel Cinematic Universe movies will be leaving Netflix once the company launches their own streaming service. Rumors of this big move by Disney surfaced a few months ago following an announcement that Disney would be developing a streaming service for all of its own films. This service would bring Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, and any other Disney made film together under the same streaming giant.
Following the initial report, another surfaced claiming that Netflix was working with Disney to keep two cherished franchises on the world’s biggest streaming service. It appears their efforts were in vain however, as MCU and Star Wars movies will make their exit from the streaming giant by 2019.
Iger confirmed the news during a live Q&A at a Bank of America Merril Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference, saying:
“We’ve now decided we will put the Marvel and Star Wars movie on this app as well.”
Looking at this objectively, it is easy to understand why Disney would want to bring their two biggest franchises to their own service, which would compete directly with Netflix. The potential to have the ability to stream hypothetically any Star Wars or MCU film instantly must be hugely appealing to fans. Furthermore, this could open the door for original content to be included on the service later on. If any company has the ability to sell more people on the idea of paying for yet another streaming service, it’s Disney – especially if they can put Star Wars and Marvel in the pole position.
A move like this could carry the potential to force fans to choose between Disney and Netflix. Since Disney’s service is roughly two years in the making, the full spectrum of their service has not been explained, including how much it could cost. It could come down to fans leaving Netflix for Disney, losing access to Disney’s films, or paying double the amount of money to keep access to both.
Lest we forget that this scenario is not a great one for Netflix either. Adding Disney to the service was a milestone for the streaming service when the companies announced their agreement in December 2012. Now, Netflix is producing more than 1,000 hours of original programming a year and signs up most of its new customers outside the U.S., where it doesn’t even offer Disney movies. Furthermore, Netflix is always growing its library of original content, and will presumably continue to house Marvel shows like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and so on.
Whether this change will have positive or negative side effects on either franchise or their followers remains to be seen. But with almost a year before the big move happens, we don’t need to Netflix & Panic just yet.