Didn’t care for the news that Disney plans to take all their movies (including Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm movies) off Netflix and onto their own upcoming subscription streaming service in 2019? Well, news today suggests that the higher-ups of Netflix and Disney are getting together to try to avoid that outcome.
Reuters is reporting that a Disney executive has confirmed that the status of Marvel and Lucasfilm movies is still up in the air, and that the two companies are actively having discussions about what will happen past 2019.
We can probably glean a few pieces of information from this. The first is that Disney and Pixar movies, going unmentioned, are almost definitely going to be exclusive to Disney’s as-yet unnamed subscription service.
The second? Considering that Netflix became the exclusive streamer of Disney movies not too long ago, we’re guessing these new negotiations aren’t going to be fun for Netflix. With Disney holding a ton of leverage with their looming new subscription service, it’s virtually certain that Netflix will have to pay far more than what they’re paying now to retain the rights to stream Disney movies.
The high price of licensing fees is what drove Netflix away from its roots in the first place. Netflix originally existed to serve up movies licensed from other companies, but over time, Netflix has let more and more of those movies go in favor of producing their own content — something that is more expensive in the short term, but doesn’t have the long-term cost of continued licensing fees. Chances are Disney’s not going to make themselves any cheaper, which means Netflix will have two options — make less and less money over time from streaming Disney movies or pass along the increased cost to customers by increasing their monthly subscription fee.
Neither are great options! It might drive Netflix to throw up its hands and say no deal. It’d be a big bet on Netflix’s own original content, but given that’s something Netflix has been keen to do in the past few years, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see these talks come to nothing.
The upshot? The way of the future seems to be very fragmented, which to be fair is what a lot people seem to want. Consumers have long been irritated by high cable bills for packages that include a bunch of channels they don’t watch. Individual services from each network and production studio seems to make a lot of sense for anyone who wants to pay only for what they want to watch.
If you want to watch a little of everything, well, that’s bad news — all we can tell you is you’re going to need a lot of money and a lot of passwords.