By Chad Richards, Contributing Writer
In 2012, Netflix struck a deal with Disney to be the exclusive provider of all current, and a large catalog of past, Disney movies. In May, we learned some of the more specific details of this deal: Netflix would have the exclusive streaming rights to all upcoming films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar starting with 2016 releases. That means titles like Captain America: Civil War, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Finding Dory (upon its release) and other movies going forward will only be available on Netflix and no other streaming services.
Here’s where the deal gets interesting: the titles won’t be available to Pay TV services like HBO or Starz either. It’s a deal that’s unheard of in the world of streaming services and it’s a deal that, according to interviews with Netflix, is going to end up costing them an incredible sum of money. If this deal leaves you with some questions, you’re not alone.
Why would Netflix make this deal in the first place? They’ve already cornered the market in streaming video services, and this only helps to solidify their hold on the market. However, it’s worth remembering that this was a deal made in 2012, when Netflix’s streaming service was relatively new with only a few exclusive deals and void of original content such as House of Cards.
In my mind, and with what little I know about the operation of business, I think it was a plan to stay ahead should future business ventures fail.
What if, for example, House of Cards or other original content bombed with viewers and critics? It would have put them in a poor position with other streaming services, so the deal would’ve given people a reason to go to Netflix compared to others. It was Netflix planning for the future and covering their bases. Sounds complicated, but the reasoning behind the deal is actually pretty simple given some thought and basic knowledge of business.
So what does this all mean? Really, not much is going to change. These kinds of exclusivity deals with streaming services are not unheard of and are really part of the way to stay ahead in the game. Each of the main services has a niche market (like Hulu having next day TV releases), but deals like this might sway the uncertain to one side or another.
This won’t be the last deal of this kind that we see. What does this mean for you? Well, if you’re a fan of Star Wars, Marvel, or Disney movies, then you might want to consider a Netflix subscription. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss some of the big releases coming up.