While some studios and media entities appear to try and lock their content into a branded app as seen with streaming apps like the Warner Archive or Flimstruck, a collection of films from Turner Classic Movies and the Criterion Collection, Disney’s strategy is to go where the viewers are. The company which owns ABC, ESPN The multiple Disney branded Networks and of course multiple theme parks and film properties, has eschewed the exclusive app model and has instead set up multiple deals to put its content on an array of partners including Hulu, Netflix and EPIX. A recent deal with Hulu will make a number of Disney properties, many from the 1990s available for streaming. Some of the films had been available on Netflix until recently.
Disney streaming rights not all cartoons
While a number of the properties were not branded as Disney, such as films like Con Air Gone in 60 Seconds, Pearl Harbor, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, the deal shows that Disney sees value in diversifying its portfolio a bit when it comes to distributing its material. What has not been discussed by either company is why Netflix was not the choice for the content in the first place. Netflix has famously dropped a number of titles in favor of original content production over the past 2 years which has been a help to Hulu in its negotiations. This was the case when Hulu picked up content from EPIX. Netflix and Epix both have a number of Marvel properties available.
Disney streaming options are numerous now as it has major deals in place with Epix, Netflix and Hulu and has shown flexibility in working with cable alternatives like Sling TV, PlayStaion Vue and DirecTV Now for the rights to stream its major TV properties. This is a far cry from the old Disney vault model of the 1980’s which made its movies much more difficult to find on home video. It shows that Disney believes in a strategy of going where the people are instead of an “If you build it they will come” model. The philosophy should be a winner for consumers either way.