Disney is hoping to undercut Netflix on price when it eventually launches its own streaming service the year after next.
Back in August, Disney revealed that it would soon be pulling its content – like hit animated movie Moana – from Netflix’s impressive content roster. The aim, it emerged, was to eventually debut its own streaming service, with a launch window set for 2019.
Since then, we’ve heard very little from Disney on the matter, but it had been assumed that work was still ongoing on the project.
Now, in the company’s most recent earnings call, CEO Bob Iger admitted that the eventual aim was to beat Netflix on pricing.
“I can say that our plan on the Disney side is to price this substantially below where Netflix is,” said Iger, who added: “That is, in part, reflective of the fact that it will have substantially less volume.”
Iger continued: “It’ll have a lot of high quality because of the brands and the franchises that will be on it that we’ve talked about. But it’ll simply launch with less volume, and the price will reflect that.”
Netflix recently underwent a price hike in the UK, with the cost of a HD membership rising to £7.99 per month. The justification is that Netflix’s huge selection of content has grown significantly in recent years, and that the company is pumping more money than ever into original productions – reducing the amount it has to rely on technical competitors like Disney.
Disney originally signed a deal to stream content with Netflix back in 2012, and its commitments end in 2019, which is why the streaming service launch is set for then.
It’s a decent loss for Netflix, given the breadth of popular content that Disney has masterminded. For a start, Disney owns Lucasfilm, which gives them Star Wars rights, and Marvel Studios, which means they have a hand in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. And of course it has the well-known roster of Pixar-produced content, plus popular franchises like Frozen.
It’s not clear exactly what Disney will be offering through its streaming service, but you can bet it’ll be loading the platform full of some of its most premium content to attract subscribers quickly.
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