Walt Disney Co has decided to offer its streaming service on the soon-to-be-launched Apple’s TV Box despite knowing the company’s plan to launch its own streaming service in late 2019. Bob Iger, Disney chief, said that Apple is just one of the many traditional distributors of the new Disney+ app. Iger revealed the details during his interview hosted by Emily Chang at Bloomberg Television.
Earlier in the year, the production house revealed that the app is available on subscription basis on PlayStation and Roku but is yet to publish names of other distributors. According to the Disney chief, they have held back from announcing names because they haven’t made deals with any of them yet. He doesn’t plan to retire from being an Apple board member despite them becoming competitors with Apple’s streaming service in the future. He also revealed Disney’s plan for the Burbank, California plot that will be completely dedicated to their streaming service. Disney is the world’s largest entertainment house and has huge plans for entering the huge market.
On the other hand, Apple has big plans for its big debut as well. Apple hosted a star-studded event in Cupertino, California in March 2019 to confirm their entry in the streaming industry. Comcast Corporation and AT&T Inc have their own plans to enter the market and compete alongside Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. Iger recuses himself from Apple board meetings but since it is a small discussion, they haven’t faced any problems yet. Disney is constantly in discussion with Apple and keeping each other informed about their progress.
Conflict of interests
Even though Iger says that there wouldn’t be any conflict of interests, others believe that the chief will have to give up his seat on the board owing to the competition. Mark Gurman, Iger’s spokesperson announced on his behalf that he is aware of his fiduciary responsibility to Apple shareholders as a board member. Jeffrey Cole, a prominent figure of the entertainment industry of the US, feels that it would be the consumers that will suffer the most.
On Netflix, they get an amazing number of TV series and movies at just $10 per month. Some of them are Netflix original but others are productions of Warner Bros, Universal, Paramount, and Disney. When these production houses start their own streaming service, the consumer will have to purchase them because they will stop uploading TV series and movies on Netflix. In the next three to four years, consumers will start paying $40 to $50 to view the same amount of content they are viewing today for only $10 a month.
The whole idea of streaming services was to escape the hefty fee you had to pay for hundreds of channels that you are never going to watch. Recently, Netflix joined Motion Picture Association of America, which is an organization that works with big production houses including NBCUniversal, 21st Century, Paramount, Disney, Sony, Warner Bros, and Century Fox.
Charles Rivkin, CEO and MPAA Chairman said that all the members are committed to taking the film and television industry forward and changing the way to reach their audience.
Winning against Netflix
Disney’s recent $71.3 billion merger deal with 21st Century Fox makes it Netflix’s strong contender. The production house will be offering two streaming services including Disney+ service and ESPN+ app. They also have a majority stake in Hulu, which gives them an upper hand in the competition. NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast will be launching its very own streaming service in 2020. CBS already is in the game with two streaming apps -- Showtime and CBS All Access.
AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner will finally release a streaming app that will offer its consumers a mix of Warner Bros, Turner's TV channels, and HBO content all under one subscription. All of us are excited about the content that Apple will be offering us. They have roped in big names like Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg among A-lister celebrities. Cupertino is yet to comment on the types of plans and its price but mentioned that it will be an ad-free subscription service.
Consumers will get a large variety of original content to choose from but also hike the price they will have to pay on a monthly basis. In 2017, Netflix invested $9 billion in making original content, which increased to $12 billion in 2018. It took the original content to a whole new level in 2019 by investing $15 billion, so its users are never out of movies and TV series to watch. You watch one movie on Netflix, and the streaming app will show you ten different suggestions in the same genre.
This is Netflix’s way of ensuring that it is never out of business despite the rising competition. It is also planning to remove non-original shows and movies to replace them with original content. For example, it cancelled a number of original content including Marvel, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and Luke Cage as Disney produced them. You might probably get to see their continuation when Disney launches its app, which is going to be very soon.
Jeffrey Cole also mentioned that Amazon invested $6 million in 2019 and plans to invest another $6 million in the second half of the year. It is way behind in the competition but that’s only until Jeff Bezos decides he has had enough and puts in $20 billion in original content. Then there’s Apple, who is yet to enter the competition but is already a strong contender after hiring two of the best executive producers of modern cinema from Sony.
Which new streaming service are you most excited for -- Apple or Disney? Honestly, we can’t wait for both of them to be launched, so you can pop some corn and binge watch all shows at once.