With Disney+ almost here, Disney is looking to change the streaming landscape in a big way. They’ve got a major advantage over their competitors by having not only the Disney name, but a stacked library of titles that people already enjoy. After decades of the “Disney Vault” creating artificial demand from artificial scarcity, Disney+ represents a 180 where they’ll be more than happy to put their beloved titles on a streaming platform for all to enjoy.
But while Disney is showcasing their back catalogue, what does the future hold for their future titles. In a feature on Disney’s streaming future, THR reports that Disney has no plans to shorten their release windows. The way it typically works now is that Disney releases a movie in theaters, it stays there for 90 days, it then hits digital and 2-3 weeks later arrives on 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD. Then about four months after that, it will arrive on a streaming service. That used to be Netflix, but now it will be Disney+. According to THR:
For those films that are released in theaters, Disney doesn’t plan on changing any windows to bring them sooner to Disney+, which means there will be around a seven-month wait for titles like the upcoming Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to hit the service (Toy Story 4 should become available in early 2020).
This means that Disney still sees the release of physical media and non-streaming digital as viable and profitable revenue streams, which makes sense. Yes, there are going to be loads of people who have no problem waiting for The Rise of Skywalker to just arrive on Disney+ sometime in July or August of 2020. But there are also loads of die-hard Star Wars fans that want to collect every Star Wars release and make it part of their permanent collection, so they’ll pick up the 4K. Physical media could be on its way out, but for the time being, Disney is sticking with it even if it means maintaining a slight delay on when their theatrical releases arrive on Disney+.
Disney+ launches on November 12th. Click here for a full list of the titles that will be available at launch.