Disney Plus will reportedly run advertisements, contrary to original plans for the streaming platform. The company contradicted past statements at an investor event this week, and has now revealed that it will run adverts for premium TV channel Starz, it has been reported.
Disney struck an advertising deal with Starz in order to regain the rights to stream some of their own films, the licenses to which had been sold, for a period of time, to the TV channel, The Verge reports.
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One particularly important title was Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which Starz held the license for.
In April, Disney’s Kevin Mayer told investors that Disney Plus would be “a wholly subscription supported service”. The company is now backtracking fast, and has confirmed that customers will see display adverts for Starz within the Disney Plus streaming platform.
Disney milked the cash cow and now, with the debut of its big new streaming platform on the way, it’s licensed off some of its best content, for the time being. This deal with Starz will regain some of that content for Disney Plus.
Star Wars seems safe territory for Disney now though, with this deal and some other licensing work behind the scenes, Disney Plus will have the first two Star Wars trilogies at launch, as well as The Force Awakens and Rogue One. Reportedly, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Solo: A Star Wars Story, will be available within a year of launch.
Currently, arch-rival Netflix holds the rights to stream Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Disney Plus will stream this film when that contract expires, barring any deal between the two parties.
A deal between Disney Plus and Netflix is hugely unlikely, as they are much more direct competitors than Disney Plus and Starz.