In times past, there have been concerns about Netflix' ability to continue acquiring rights for streaming video content. The more users the company gets, the more pressure there is to get high-profile content. After the loss of the Starz deal, there was some doubt, but today there is a renewed hope for fans of Netflix and Disney at least: the two just inked a deal that will bring first-run movies from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel, and Disneynature to the streaming service in 2016. This deal will also make Netflix Disney's exclusive streaming subscription partner. Not bad!
The new movies will be coming to Netflix in what sounds like an extremely early window. While "first-run" is one of those words that can be flexible in the hands of a clever PR person, we can pretty safely assume that this means that Netflix will get access to high-profile movies the day they're released to DVD, alongside pay TV models like On Demand. In other words, it's very possible that when whatever Marvel movie will be released in 2016 comes out on Blu-Ray, you'll be able to watch it online before you can make it to the store to buy a copy.
As if that wasn't enough, starting soon, Netflix will also be carrying a collection of older Disney content including classics like Dumbo, Pocahontas, and Alice in Wonderland. Movies that are traditionally locked in the Disney Vault. While many are available elsewhere, this will still be a huge boon for fans of Disney's animated classics. There will also be a new catalog of direct-to-video titles that will be made available starting 2013.
This is a pretty huge deal, as more often than not, major studios prefer to keep services like Netflix and Redbox as far away from day-one releases as possible. There is very little room here for this to mean anything but "Netflix will get good Disney movies without waiting forever." The press release specifically says films released in theaters in 2016 will be available "in the pay TV window." Of course, if Disney sets their pay TV window farther back than physical media release dates, then this might still result in a wait for eager streaming subscribers, but for the time being, we'll be optimistic.
It's not like we've got anything better to do for the next four years while we wait for the coolest part of this deal to take effect.
Source: PR Newswire