Something BIG happened during Disney’s earnings call today. The company announced they will be pulling its catalog from the the world’s largest streaming giant and launching their own streaming platform in 2019. Bob Iger spoke positively about the relationship between Netflix and the Mouse company, but was clear that now was the time for the company to head toward shaping their own future with Disney specific streaming service.
Disney will be preceeded in this arena by one of their child companies, ESPN. Which will launch their much anticipated live TV streaming app next year. This app/streaming holy grail will give cord-cutters all over the country something they have desperately wanted for years; the opportunity to see thousands of hours NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL & MLS games live every year without having to go through their cable providers. What a time to be alive.
Both the streaming services are largely made possible by Disney now owning a huge stake in BAM, formally MLB advanced media. BAM largely wrote the book on live sports streaming and is now the backbone for both HBOnow & the WWE Network. Disney now owns 75% ownership of BAM and that provides Walt’s empire with a more than capable entity to handle their bandwidth needs and will most likely alleviate any headaches that could come with launching a streaming start-up.
It’s easy to be annoyed and nervous by this news. Does this mean that every studio will pull their content off Netflix and HBO and try to launch their own streaming service? Doubtful. I think Disney is the only Studio that could possibly get away with this because of the content they own. This is a streaming service that will likely have Disney Classics like ‘101 Dalmations’ and ‘Bambi’ AND modern day beloved Disney films like ‘Wreck it Ralph’ & ‘Zootopia’ AND all the great Pixar films AND the new live action remakes of Disney Classics AND Marvel AND Star Wars.
They also have years and years of Disney branded television shows as well and have announced they will be making original content for the platform too. This will be a major player in streaming from day 1, and we’re all going to happily put down credit cards to be charged $19.99 a month for the privilege of watching ‘The Rescuers Down Under’ or ‘Rock-a-Doodle’.
One last this to note is now that Disney owns 4 major studios including their own, several TV channels including a major network, and now the majority of a company that is the backbone for so much streaming on the web. At what point will this corporate entity become sentient and decide to simply harvest humanity for energy in some ‘Matrix’ like future?