SVOD Trends and Challenges [Two]: Going Alone
Studios will no longer allow third-party streaming services grow rich by aggregating their content.
Now that Netflix has laid the groundwork, the studios are launching standalone streaming services with premium content that isn’t available on Netflix or other SVOD providers.
Most Valuable Film Library Lost
Walt Disney Co. recently announced that their hugely popular library of Disney and Pixar films would no longer be available on Netflix.
In the short-term these select titles are still under contract, but after 2019 Disney and Pixar titles will stream exclusively on Disney’s new service. Similarly, Disney-owned ESPN launches its standalone service in 2018.
This change will mainly impact parents who subscribe for content directed towards young children. Many in the segment will likely migrate to Disney’s service.
Netflix will continue its relationship with Marvel TV, but losing Disney titles will further diminish Netflix’s film options, which are already greatly reduced.
Disney has not decided where Marvel and LucasFilms titles will stream. Perhaps on Netflix, Amazon, Disney’s new streaming site, or perhaps a new provider.
Ultimately, Netflix will always operate at a disadvantage since the major internet service providers and content aggregators are one in the same.
AT&T, Comcast, and Spectrum own a near monopoly on the nation’s access to the internet and media.
By benefit of this virtue HBO and NBCUniversal, through Spectrum and Comcast, can exert greater control in the future to hamper the growth of Netflix or other new players.
From Partner To Competitor
The studios subsidized Netflix’s expansion into original content making them a direct competitor along the way. But now the studios can finally cut off Netflix from licensing their content in hopes of luring subscribers away.
The greater fragmentation of the SVOD market will be addressed in a subsequent article. Having more available services poses an enormous challenge and opportunity for independent film distributors.