Disney is planning to start a video streaming service similar to Netflix, and plans to soon pull all its content out of the latter.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new streaming service from Disney will go live in 2019. Disney CEO Bob Iger said that the move is “a strategic shift in the way we distribute our content.”
Disney is first looking to expand its current stake in streaming media technology company BAMTech. It will acquire a further 42% stake in the company at a cost of USD 1.58 billion. Disney also plans to launch a streaming service for sports channel ESPN next year, and by 2019 its flagship streaming service is expected to go live.
Bob Iger said that if a movie is Pixar or Disney-branded, it will probably appear exclusively on the new service — including shows and movies made specifically for the service.
A report in Vanity Fair says that Disney will likely pull its own content out on Netflix by 2019, when its current contract expires. However, this move may not affect the Marvel or Star Wars films. The company currently has many agreements with Netflix which allows the latter to stream Disney movies, and the movies made by Disney’s subsidiaries and collaborators — including Lucas Film’s Star Wars franchise, and the Marvel films.