The streaming wars are about to get very ugly, as Disney gets ready to go into business for themselves in that department, which could seriously harm Netflix in the process. For a while now, Disney has been releasing some of its biggest titles, such as Star Wars and Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, on Netflix shortly after their Blu-ray release. However, with the Disney+ streaming service set to launch in November, that deal is going to be over soon and it looks like that could do some damage to Netflix's subscriber base.
According to a new survey, 22 percent of Americans said they would cancel their Netflix subscription if Marvel movies such as Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 were no longer available on the service. Similarly, 20 percent said they would cancel if the Star Wars movies currently available were pulled. That number increases to 35 percent with Marvel and 26 percent with Star Wars amongst the key 18 to 29 age group. What's more, 14 percent surveyed said they would bail if The Office is taken off of Netflix, whereas 11 percent would leave if Friends departs.
The problem for Netflix seems to be that this isn't a matter of if, but when. It isn't clear precisely when Disney's movies will be yanked from Netflix, but it surely won't be too long after Disney+ launches in November, if they can help it. As for The Office and Friends, they're both ultimately controlled by NBC and are regularly reported as some of the most watched shows on Netflix. Comcast, NBC's parent company, will be launching their own streaming service as well and the hope, as per NBCUniversal sales chief Linda Yaccarino, is that those shows will eventually live exclusively on their service.
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Case in point, Netflix already inked a deal said to be in the $80 million range to ensure Friends wouldn't be taken off the service at least until 2020. For Netflix, these losses would be huge. They currently have a tremendous leg up on the competition, as they boast a huge 149 million subscribers worldwide. However, with Netflix, NBC, Apple, Facebook and more entering the streaming arena, everyone is going to doing what they can to hold onto premium content for their own interests. That means it's going to be far more difficult for Netflix to license desirable shows and movies such as these in the future.
We also just learned that Disney now has full control over Hulu, thanks to a new deal with Comcast, on top of Disney+, which will cost just $6.99 per month, which is far cheaper than Netflix, whose standard plan now goes for $12.99. Netflix, for their part, has been focusing heavily on original content for the past handful of years, investing billions on high-profile movie and TV projects. Will those originals be able to keep them ahead of Disney in the long run? It's going to be fascinating watching this all unfold. This news was previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter.