First up, Disney and Pixar. Next, world domination! Perhaps you heard the collective roar of triumph from an army of cord cutters yesterday that reverberated around the Internet. The jubilation was due to an announcement by Netflix that beginning in September, the streaming content provider would have exclusive rights to Disney, Pixar, Lucas Film, and Marvel movie releases.
“From September onwards, Netflix will become the exclusive US pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar.”
Ted Sarandos, Netflix Press Release
This deal has been in the works since 2012, and marks the first time a major studio has partnered with a streaming provider to deliver theatrical releases. Netflix has indicated exclusive deals like this one are an important part of their strategy moving forward, in addition to investing heavily in developing their own programming. The deal is reported to have cost Netflix in the neighborhood of $300 million.
An exclusive contract not only edges out other streaming service competitors like Amazon Prime, it also shuts out cable movie channels like Starz, who currently hold the rights to Disney and Pixar films. The deal goes into effect in September, but it will only cover 2016 and newer theatrical releases. You know what that means, Star Wars fans. The force is still awakening with Starz this fall, although Netflix will retain rights to stream the intergalactic blockbuster in Canada. Netflix will also get to offer their customers Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the popular Zootopia, although they’ll be dropping a few older Disney titles from the catalog to make room.
As the movement to cut the cord grows this year, quality programming from streaming providers like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon poses a serious challenge to the future of cable TV. Currently, estimates indicate that only 5 million Americans get their entertainment exclusively via streaming content providers, in comparison to a whopping 100 million cable TV subscribers nationwide. However, the FCC is putting robust regulations in place that mandate the expansion of high-speed Internet into under-served areas. The recent telecom merger between Charter, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House requires that the cable companies also step away from practices like data caps that discourage cord cutters and lead to throttling.
If you’re one of many cable TV customers considering cutting the cord, the latest news about the partnership between Disney/Pixar, and Netflix may be just the catalyst you’ve been waiting for to finally make the change. Check out our “Definitive Guide to Cutting the Cord” to help you make the best decision for your household. Ultimately, whatever you decide to do, you’ll need a speedy Internet connection if you want to stream all that fabulous Netflix content headed your way. Check out our provider tool to ensure you’re getting the speeds you need so you’ll be ready when Netflix makes its move for world domination.