This summer, Disney sent ripples through the entertainment world when they announced their plans to launch a proprietary streaming service. That service isn’t expected to launch until 2019, but in some ways, its effects are already being felt. You see, the announcement of the streaming platform came hand-in-glove with the announcement that Disney would be pulling their content from Netflix. To some extent, this wasn’t exactly a surprise. After all, the entire point of Disney launching a streaming service is to offer their content directly to subscribers, and why would anyone sign up for yet another streaming service if they just watch the Disney films they care about on Netflix? But this move still raised its share of questions.
Chief among those questions, of course, was “What about the Marvel Netflix shows?” After all, they are at the end of the day Marvel content. But given the role Netflix plays in producing and distributing the shows, it’s not as simple as pulling a ‘Star Wars’ movie. All we can really say with any certainty is that the ongoing production of new seasons of each series’ likely means that they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
But that sense of uncertainty, it seems, is not unique to the Marvel fanbase. Speaking to investors at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos content chief acknowledged both the uncertainty and that Disney’s platform may prove to be competitive, at least in terms of content:
It’ll be an interesting couple of years. What Disney going direct to consumer means, I don’t really know and I’m not positive that they do either. They’ve created some really killer brands. It’s not that exclusive. Netflix has ‘The Defenders’.
If nothing else, Sarandos seems confident that ‘The Defenders’ and, presumably, the associated solo shows will remain with Netflix for the foreseeable future. But nothing is set in stone, and even long-term contracts eventually run out. While the Netflix shows may remain where they are for the time being, if Disney finds success in the streaming realm, the Defenders may yet find themselves moving to a new home.
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