Disney to keep Marvel & Star Wars movies exclusive to its streaming service
After late 2019, Disney's upcoming streaming service will be the only place the public can stream Marvel and "Star Wars" titles, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced at a Los Angeles media conference on Thursday.
"We're going to launch big, and we're going to launch hot," CNBC quoted Iger as saying. The service will also play home to three to four exclusive Disney movies, four to five original series, and the entertainment conglomerate's current TV library.
When Disney first announced the service last month, Iger said that the company was still undecided on whether to spin Marvel and "Star Wars" off into their own services. That prospect was unlikely though, since even combined the two entities would have a small amount of material.
The latest announcement is likely bad news for Netflix. It was already set to lose Disney movies starting in 2019, but was also thought to be negotiating a way of holding on to some of that content, having previously signed a lucrative exclusivity deal. Netflix originals with Marvel characters — like "Daredevil" and "The Punisher" — should be unaffected.
Once the Disney service goes live people should still be able to buy and rent Marvel and "Star Wars" titles from places like Apple's iTunes, but they won't be included in any subscription packages.
Apple and Disney have a close corporate relationship. Iger sits on the Apple board of directors, and former Apple CEO Steve Jobs became Disney's biggest individual shareholder when the latter bought Pixar. Disney has frequently been featured in Apple marketing, and some of its characters appear as faces on the Apple Watch.