Netflix is embarking on a new age of Internet television as a deal set up between the streaming service and Disney takes effect towards the end of this year.
It was announced in 2012 that Netflix would become the exclusive U.S. subscription TV service for first-run live-action and animated films from The Walt Disney Studios. That means that, beginning with 2016 theatrical releases, titles from Disney, Walt Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel Studios, Disneynature, and Lucasfilm will be made available to Netflix subscribers to watch during that first pay TV time period, which occurs after the Digital, Blu-ray, and DVD releases.
That would include Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Finding Dory, Zootopia, and The Jungle Book, all of which had or will have theatrical debuts this year. Plus, Rogue One, Star Wars: Episode VIII, and that new Indiana Jones movie will be here before you know it.
In a new update posted to Netflix’s blog, this all begins this September:
From September onwards, Netflix will become the exclusive U.S. pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar.
Disney and Netflix also announced in 2012 that the streaming platform will give its users access to selections from the Mouse House’s immense catalogue — such as Dumbo, Pocahontas, and Alice in Wonderland — as part of a multi-year catalog deal.
In years past, networks like HBO and Starz would typically get the exclusive rights to premiere these movies on TV for the first time. But the move makes sense, given the growing relationship between the two entertainment powerhouses. Netflix is already the home for Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist properties with more, including a Punisher spin-off, on the way. The platform has already played host to Disney’s direct-to-home-release options beginning in 2013. So, even though Amazon, Hulu, HBO, Showtime, and others are bulking up their streaming options, Netflix needn’t fear.
We’ll see how long Netflix will be able to keep this up. At the time of the announcement, the brand was reportedly spending millions per year for these Disney selections. Meanwhile, there’s been a boom of original content, which Netflix reportedly spent $6 billion this year alone.