- Disney is exploring the possibility of licensing some titles to Netflix again, but not including their major brands like Disney Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars.
- Disney CEO Bob Iger considers these major brands to be crucial building blocks for their own streaming platform, Disney+.
- According to Iger, the licensing of Disney titles to Netflix would not compromise the competitive advantages and differentiation provided by the Disney Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars properties on Disney+.
Disney is in the process of pursuing a new relationship with Netflix. Many Disney titles have been licensed to the online streaming service over the years, but their licensing agreements began to dry up when Disney developed their own proprietary streaming service, Disney+. The Disney+ service offers subscribers access to many titles from the Disney library as well as other libraries they own including 20th Century Studios and National Geographic, on top of original shows and movies such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s WandaVision and Hocus Pocus 2.
Per Variety, Disney CEO Bob Iger has shared the company’s upcoming streaming plans during a recent earnings call. He revealed that Disney is looking into licensing some of their titles to Netflix once again, however this won’t involve some of their flagship Disney+ shows and movies from brands including “Disney Pixar, Marvel, (and) Star Wars.” Iger called those properties “really important building blocks” for their streaming platform. Read his full quote about those brands below:
Those are real, obviously competitive advantages for us and differentiators. Disney Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, for instance, all doing very, very well on our platform, and I don’t see why just to basically chase bucks we should do that when they are really really important building blocks to the current and future of our streaming business.
Disney+ Has Been Changing A Lot in 2023
Amid widespread losses in the streaming industry, Disney has announced many recent changes to Disney+ in addition to this surprising revelation of them rekindling their relationship with Netflix. Some of these decisions have been controversial, including the removal of a raft of streaming exclusive titles such as the Willow sequel show, which was canceled just five months after it aired. The service also announced a recent price hike for its ad-free tier.
Willow featured Warwick Davis reprising the title role of the 1988 fantasy movie of the same name.
However, other recent changes have expanded their library considerably. In fact, during the same earnings call, Iger revealed that the new app combining Disney+ with Hulu is about to make its official launch. This announcement comes in the wake of the fact that, earlier this year, the platform also expanded to include R-rated movies such as the more boundary-pushing 20th Century Studios Marvel movies Logan, Deadpool, and Deadpool 2, though family controls allow parents to decide if those options appear for their children.
Strangely, the limitations of this new deal likely mean that Disney will not be licensing some shows that were originally developed for the rival streaming platform. The Netflix Marvel TV shows, which include Daredevil and Jessica Jones, are part of one of the brands the company is still trying to protect. In fact, Disney+ is developing a new Daredevil show featuring the return of Charlie Cox in the title role, meaning they will almost certainly see licensing the original show as a liability.