There’s a fight brewing in streaming land, as the giants Netflix and Disney prepare to face off in a battle to own your TV time. But you might be surprised to find that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings isn’t just looking forward to the challenge – but to subscribe to his Disney rival, too.
“I know I’ll be a subscriber of it, for my own personal watching,” Hastings said in relation to Disney’s touted service in an earnings call.
“They’ll try many things - separate sports, other flavors. If it works, then we get to learn from that,” he stated.
“So our view would be to let them try to innovate on those aspects, watch what they do and learn from consumers… Do they really love it?
"We’ll all learn from each other and total streaming will grow faster because of the competition.”
Streaming’s hall of heroes
With its roster of superstar entertainment brands like Star Wars, Pixar, and the Marvel superheroes, Disney will have the capability to come out of the blocks with a new service boasting a formidable library of content.
And it could only get stronger, too – a planned takeover of 21st Century Fox would, for instance, finally give Disney control over the X-Men license, a property ripe for TV serialisation. And that’s before considering the exclusive pull-power of a live-action Star Wars TV show.
But Netflix fans need not despair entirely, especially when it comes to the quality Marvel shows the company has already offered up through its own service.
While many have feared that Netflix could lose the right to make and show the likes of Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, the deal inked means that’s simply not the case – Disney owns the underlying property, but the shows remain very much Netflix’s to do with as it pleases.
“As long as they keep making those shows, they continue on Netflix,” said Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos.
“Our Marvel series that Disney produces for us - we own those shows. They run until we cancel them.”