8.09.2017

Disney May Split Out Star Wars and Marvel Into Standalone Streaming Services

During its quarterly earnings report yesterday, Disney revealed that it plans to remove all of its content from Netflix and debut a streaming service of its own in 2019. The announcement didn’t make clear which exact Disney-related pieces of content might be found within that service, but more information from the earnings report has been shared today by TechCrunch, with Disney CEO Bob Iger mentioning Marvel and Star Wars could get their own streaming services down the line.

This means that the 2019 service would be related to Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar films like Lilo and Stitch, Zootopia, Moana, and Finding Dory (all of which are on Netflix right now). Then, the company would debut a Marvel service for movies and television shows in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and a Lucasfilm service for properties in the Star Wars universe.

Disney is said to be “considering” these services right now, but a decision “is not yet set in stone.”

According to Disney CEO Bob Iger, the company is still considering how it wants to bring Marvel and LucasFilm titles to consumers. There’s been talk of launching proprietary Marvel and Star Wars services, he said on Disney’s earnings call on Thursday. But that decision is not yet set in stone.

“We’re mindful of the volume of product that would go into those services, and we want to be careful about that,” Iger explained.

Currently, Netflix subscribers can watch a number of shows and movies from these Disney-owned brands, including Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Iger mentioned that he and the company have also considered adding Marvel and Star Wars content into the new Disney streaming service. What’s stopping this from happening is that they aren’t sure that it would be “the right place for them [Marvel/Star Wars properties],” because of a potential lack of overlap between Disney and Pixar fans, and Marvel or Star Wars fans.

The Disney service will reportedly have enough content of its own, with the company’s vast back catalogue of films and tv shows, early access to upcoming releases like Toy Story 4, and exclusive new original content.

According to Iger, if these Marvel and Star Wars services do happen, a Disney-created Marvel streaming platform will not interfere with the company’s multiyear deal with Netflix, which has resulted in Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and the upcoming team-up show The Defenders, as well as The Punisher. These original Netflix shows were formed under a separate deal from the one created in 2012, which will see Disney films leave Netflix ahead of the 2019 streaming service’s launch.

Because of this, Disney “has no plans” to remove any of these original Marvel TV shows from Netflix, and Iger said that Disney is potentially willing to license even more Marvel characters to Netflix in the future.

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