Today, Netflix and the Walt Disney company made a pretty huge announcement. Starting in 2016, the company will be the exclusive streamers of the first-run of Disney's huge theatrical catalog - meaning films from Pixar, Marvel, and Walt Disney Animation Studios as well. It's a big deal because it allows Netflix to stream the films inside the pay TV window. That means that as soon as the films would be available on services like HBO or cable on-demand, Netflix will have them. Even though it's not set to start until 2016, it's a step forward for the streaming subscription service, who is accustomed to getting content weeks after it's been available in the pay TV period.
Wall Street is reacting positively to the news, as Netflix stock has jumped over 14% following the news:
As part of the deal, Netflix will also receive rights to Disney's straight-to-video selections as well as an extension on the back catalog of classics like Dumbo and Pocahontas.
"For us, this is a really big deal – for the first time in our largest market - new Disney movies will be available when and where you want to watch them on Netflix rather than on a premium cable channel," said Netflix VP of content acquisition Pauline Fischer. "Through this new partnership with Disney, one of the best known global names in family entertainment, Netflix is giving our members even more high quality films to enjoy."
“Disney and Netflix have shared a long and mutually beneficial relationship and this deal will bring to our subscribers, in the first pay TV window, some of the highest-quality, most imaginative family films being made today,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix. “It’s a bold leap forward for Internet television and we are incredibly pleased and proud this iconic family brand is teaming with Netflix to make it happen.”
A bold leap forward for internet television, indeed. Will other studios follow suit and start looking at streaming services like Netflix for exclusive pay TV window deals?