Disney’s streaming content with Netflix ends in 2019 and when it does the House of Mouse is packing up its movies and heading over to its own streaming service. That means come 2019 you’ll have to pay for a new streaming service to watch Disney and Pixar films, and the company is considering launching streaming services for its Marvel and Star Wars properties, too. It also paints a very clear picture of the future for streaming content where every studio and network has its own subscription.
The announcement came during Disney’s quarterly earnings report earlier this week. Along with the Disney/Pixar streaming service, Disney plans to launch an ESPN streaming service, according to CNBC.
In other words, the day is coming when you’ll need to pay for two subscription services to watch Disney shows and EPSN. You could end up with four subscriptions if you want Marvel and Star Wars content, too.
Imagine this scenario: You want to watch The Incredibles, Wall-E, and Disney original content, along with Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Star Wars Rebels. That counts as three different streaming subscriptions.
Disney isn’t the first content provider to launch its own streaming service. Netflix and Amazon Prime both offer their own original shows and movies, HBO has been offering its own streaming service for years, and CBA All Access is trying to entice new subscribers with Star Trek: Discovery, for example.
The irony is that cable subscribers have been asking for à la carte channels for years, and internet streaming is getting exactly that—but it isn’t what those viewers want. Instead, a single streaming package that includes the content they want—like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
Initially those aggregating streaming services fit the bill, even though we typically need to sign up for at least two. With content creators expecting they can make more money on their own it’s a safe bet we’ll see more movies and original shows ditch the Netflix and Amazon Prime model to go it on their own.
When they do, streaming viewers will have to make a choice: pay for even more monthly subscriptions, or cut back on the shows they regularly watch. Regardless of which path viewers take it’s clear Disney and other networks value our pocketbooks at least as much as our eyes.