Rumors Swirl As Disney Might Be Acquiring Netflix

disney_netflix

The House of the Mouse continues to dominate. Already a massive company, Disney owns such brands as Pixar, Touchstone, ABC, ESPN, A&E, Hollywood Records, History Channel, and many others. Recently, they have made some very large-scale purchases including Marvel Entertainment (for $4.24 billion) and Lucasfilm (for $4.05 billion). It looks like they might soon be making another large-scale purchase, to further dominate entertainment.

It is rumored that Disney is setting its sights on the world’s largest streaming service, Netflix. With more than 86 million users and a net worth of more than $1.26 billion, it would be a worthy asset to acquire. At this point, it is just in rumor territory and both Disney and Netflix have declined comment in regards to any purchase. AT&T most recently made an $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, could theoretically become competition for Netflix.  With Netflix recently making their goal of having half of the streaming titles in the library to be original programming, they may need additional funding that Disney could possibly provide.

However, with Netflix being a Disney company, this might make adding non-Disney-related films/tv shows to their library more difficult. It could just end up being a Disney streaming service, so there are pros and cons to this type of deal. Disney is already doing some business with Netflix as they recently struck a deal with Netflix to stream many of their films once contracts expire with Starz and other pay subscribers. Either way, they are going to continue to do business together, deal or no deal.

Once again, this is currently in rumor territory.  As more information comes, we will provide you all the details.

Source: CBR via Tech Crunch

Khalil Johnson

Khalil Johnson

Khalil is a ride or die fanboy who was bitten by a radioactive blogger. Now, he uses his superpowers for online entertainment journalism. ...

  • Napi

    Wow, Mandela effect

    • SAMURAI36

      How so?

      • Napi

        I thought that Netfilx was already owned by Disney

        • SAMURAI36

          No, but I could tell they were definitely moving in that direction.

          Now here’s another prediction: watch the monthly sub price of Netflix go up, after Disney buys it. Then, watch Marvel move all their TV content to Netflix. No need to deal with the networks (even it’s own network) anymore.

          • Maxi Iroh

            And see most of the other non-Netflix shows/movies go away.

  • SAMURAI36

    I called this a couple of years ago. With AT&T purchasing WB, this seems like the only logical movie for Disney.

    If Disney does by Netflix, I definitely won’t be subscribing.

    • Axxell

      SMH…What a child…

      • batghost

        LOL. I know. This guy. hahaha. If anything is even somehow related to the Marvel movies, he has to say something negative about it. Big deal. Companies buy other companies all the time. This won’t affect anything.

  • Jason Scarpelli

    Disney is such a profitable company, they could probably get big studios to allow Netflix stream their movies. I’m all for it.

    • SAMURAI36

      This is why I’m glad AT&T is buying WB, so they won’t have that problem. And WB doesn’t need Disney or Netflix, since they own 2 premium channels already.

      Disney was already avoiding having to pay WB, by doing an exclusive contract to Starz at the time, before they went exclusive to Netflix. Now they’re buying the entire farm, just to have a premium on the milk. Good for them, I guess.

      I don’t support Disney’s product, & I haven’t subbed to Netflix in years, so this has no foreseeable effect on me.

      • Axxell

        I thought you didn’t support companies that subsidized Trump and republicans…yet you’re OK with AT&T/WB?

      • Axxell

        I thought you didn’t support companies that subsidized Trump and republicans…yet you’re OK with AT&T/WB?

  • Steve Steve

    Good move for Disney, bad for the rest of us. How could a Disney owned Netflix be original or creative? Netflix isn’t like Pixar, Marvel, or Lucasfilm, where Disney bought creators and visionaries along with awesome IP. Netflix is a co-op, a collective of artists and show-runners who are there precisely because Netflix is not mainstream Hollywood.

    If Netflix sells to a Studio, or any other Hollywood organization, they will surrender everything that makes them special. Maybe Disney wouldn’t be so bad given their success with their previous acquisitions, but I am not hopeful.

    • Axxell

      What would a Disney acquisition change if the same people are working there? If anything, Pixar was in more danger of changing its culture from the buyout, and yet here they are, still producing quality content. Netflix is unlike anything Disney has ever done before, so they’ll definitely try to keep the same core of people who brought it to where it is.

      • Steve Steve

        Pixar was quite the opposite of “in danger” when Disney bought them. In fact, Disney immediately gave Pixar control over Disney Animation and Disney Toons. John Lasseter is still running both animation studios and has guided the Disney Animation resurgence of the past decade.

        Netflix is not a producer of content. They merely finance and distribute. Several creators have said that once Netflix decided to finance their vision they were left alone to realize it. Furthermore, Netflix is said to encourage creators to really go-for-it and push the limits of their ideas. Is that going to occur when it is Disney financing these ideas instead of just Netflix? Is Disney going to leave the creators to their own devices? Are they going to gamble on the crazy ideas on which Netflix has gambled? Probably not.

        How is Netflix is different from ABC, ESPN, and History Channel? Perhaps Netflix is exactly like Disney’s other TV venue ventures. All three of those existing Disney properties are struggling under poor management. All three lack creativity.

        It is a mistake to correlate a Netflix takeover with the success of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. Netflix is just as likely to fall into the same bloated, failed state as Disney’s other television ventures.

        • Axxell

          You said yourself that Disney gave Pixar the reins when they bought them, and it was Disney footing the bills. So I still don’t see where your concern is coming from about whether Disney is gonna allow Netflix to spend their money on creative content; they’ve done just that by your own admission.

          As I asked before: if Netflix is allowed to maintain it’s nucleus, why would anything change?

          • Steve Steve

            Because the Netflix people are gatekeepers, not creators. Disney had been trying to pull John Lasseter away from Pixar since the early nineties. All of the Lasseter/Pixar films were distributed by Disney. Disney Animation was in a deep, dark hole at the time, in desperate need of new management.

            Netflix is not Pixar. They don’t make content. They are a venue for distributing Disney content. Why would Disney throw hundreds of millions of dollars behind fringe, boundary pushing content when they have their own gigantic catalog to pull from?

            If Disney buys Netflix the original content will be replaced by Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, Disney, ABC shows, ESPN, etc. The new Disney brand shows would probably be good. Who doesn’t want more Star Wars content? Who wouldn’t like to see Pixar try their hands at long-form storytelling? Things would be fine, but the world would be deprived of the next “Orange is the New Black,” “House of Cards,” or “Bo-Jack Horseman.”

          • Axxell

            There’s no logical sense or reason for why they’d do that…not even the Disney owned networks restrict themselves to Disney content…so why would that suddenly change?

            Like every other division of Disney, Netflix would need to justify it’s existence, i.e, make money…They can’t make money if they stick to only one source of content; if anything, they’re gonna go out and take more gambles since that’s what made them successful.

            To suggest that Netflix would suddenly turn into the Disney channel makes absolutely no sense.

          • Steve Steve

            What about ABC and ESPN? What have either of those networks done creatively in the past decade? ESPN is the TMZ of the sports world and ABC has consistently struggled to compete with CBS and NBC. Disney tried to sell ABC in 2010 because they didn’t have enough Disney synergy.

            Netflix needs to remain independent.

          • Axxell

            It’s kinda disingenuous to boil down ABC/ESPN’s relationship with Disney to the last few years of struggles and ignoring all the good things they’ve done since the merger. Television overall has struggled since the rise of digital media….

            And guess what Netflix specializes in?

          • Steve Steve

            It’s extremely “disingenuous” to respond as though we’ve been talking about the struggle of television or the rise of digital media. If you scroll back up to my first comment on the subject, the first statement I made was: “Good move for Disney.” None of my complaints have to do with the economic viability of Disney’s potential purchase of Netflix

            Disney has owned ABC/ESPN for twenty years. They have had some significant success with both networks. Neither has been a venue for creativity or originality. Both have been bogged down by their commitment to promoting Disney products.

            A Disney Netflix will undoubtedly be populated by Disney IP to the detriment of creative, original content.

          • Axxell

            Obviously, if Netflix is owned by Disney, everything they do will be “Disney content”…how does that preclude them from doing creative, original “Disney content”, just for the fact of owning them?

            During the time they were owned by Disney, ABC managed to create one of the most original and creative TV serials of all time in Lost, and ESPN is STILL the biggest sports network ever. So don’t tell me they’ve been “bogged down” because of Disney.

          • Steve Steve

            I don’t think I’m explaining my concerns very well… I’m not concerned about the mainstream productions. Netflix is sure to have hit shows whether or not Disney buys them.

            Right now Netflix is an incredible, innovative upstart. They are consistently profitable, despite the insane amount of money they sink into technology and development (projected $800+ million this year). They throw millions of dollars behind projects that other financiers would never consider supporting. They owe loyalty only to themselves and their subscribers. One of their core goals is “Helping content creators around the world to find a global audience.”

            Disney is a globally dominant producer of film content right now. They have produced 12 of the 27 films in the $1 Billion Club (WB & Universal are tied for second with four each). They are on track to shatter the $6.9 billion annual box-office record set last year by Universal (Disney is at $6 billion with more to come from Doctor Strange, Moana, and Rogue One)… but I digress.

            Disney built their modern dominance on acquisitions of the biggest content producers on the market and combining them with their own distribution and marketing network. Netflix does not offer content to combine with Disney’s distribution network. Instead Netflix offers a new medium to expand and modernize Disney’s distribution network. Netflix doesn’t need Disney’s money. They are extremely successful on their own.

            Would Disney maintain the goal of: “Helping content creators around the world to find a global audience?” Would Disney care about small productions like “Grace and Frankie” or “F is for Family?” I don’t think they would and I can’t understand your optimism.

          • Axxell

            Would Disney maintain the goal of: “Helping content creators around the world to find a global audience?” Would Disney care about small productions like “Grace and Frankie” or “F is for Family?” I don’t think they would and I can’t understand your optimism.

            I’ve been trying for days to understand your own pessimism, but you haven’t mentioned any specific reason why you think Disney would interfere with Netflix were they to get even more money to spend on moonshots. All you said was that Disney would force their content onto the platform, which in itself is not incompatible with their goal of bringing in creative content as well.

          • Steve Steve

            As an independent company Netflix finds their competitive advantage in their unique content.
            ie: Netflix offers shows that are observably different from what you can find on other streaming services or TV channels.

            As a subsidiary of Disney, Netflix would find competitive advantage in their access to Disney IP. They would be able to produce Star Wars, Marvel, etc. content without paying Disney for the licenses.

            In being independent, Netflix has a financial incentive to gamble on small, fringe productions that could become mainstream. In being owned by Disney (or WB, Universal, Fox, et al), Netflix would simultaneously lose the incentive to push boundaries and promote fringe content, while gaining incentive to produce content from existing (and owned) IP.

            It’s a matter of logic.

            Furthermore, even beyond producing and distributing smaller content, is advertising that content. Netflix promotes their own content above all other content in their interface. They display a promotional banner on their main screen. Every list they generate has at least one of their shows near the top/front. Under Disney, that space would be dedicated, if not to other Disney products, at least to series based on Disney IP. The Disney IP would effectively take the air out of the room and suffocate smaller IP.

            Netflix may continue to finance and distribute small productions from unknown creators, but they would have no motivation other than principal. And, even if their principal was effective at motivating them, there would be fewer promotional resources available to support the fringe content.

            Full disclosure: I may enjoy a Disney Netflix more than the current one. (I subscribed specifically for Daredevil Season 1). My concern is for the small creators whose only opportunity to produce their uncompromised work is through Netflix.

          • Axxell

            Disney doesn’t need one more Disney channel…they already have plenty of those.

            What Netflix offers them is a platform where they can offer the type of content that they couldn’t otherwise provide on a Disney-related channel…in other words, an HBO, which is not surprising given how Netflix has openly stated their objective of becoming them. There’s no evidence that Hastings would give that up just to push the Disney content that’s already available in plenty other venues; it’d kill the company, and he knows it.

          • Steve Steve

            Are you even reading my comments?

            It wouldn’t kill the company. It would make them even more successful. Imagine new original Star Wars content… Imagine a big-budget “Old Republic” series! Imagine the Marvel Knights realized on Netflix, but with even bigger production budgets purely because there wouldn’t be a licencing fee! Imagine an original Pixar series! Netflix would be a tremendous addition to Disney’s empire.

            Every Disney acquisition came with drawbacks. Here is an example for each of the big three…

            Disney made Pixar produce a sequel to Cars (their worst film by critics, audiences, and ticket sales), and that sequel was reviled by critics and audiences alike and was, by far, the lowest performing Pixar film (until Good Dinosaur). Why did Disney want a sequel? Merchandise… Something Pixar didn’t really care about before they became a Disney subsidiary.

            Marvel is working around their Hulk licensing deal with Universal. Before the Disney sale there was a possibility of another solo Hulk film, but now that is impossible. We are missing out on a potentially amazing World War Hulk film.

            Lucasarts games were shuttered (several projects canceled) after the sale to Disney and the gaming was licensed to EA… EA… F**king EA man!

            I would say, from the perspective of the consumer, there is more good than bad in all three of those acquisitions. I would also say, from the perspective of the consumer, a Netflix acquisition would have more good than bad. I will not, however, pretend that everything would be better following a sale. It is my opinion that the smaller creators who have found an incredible venue in Netflix, will not find the same venue following a sale. I have lain out all of my reasoning and I submit it to the HH readership (all nine of us 😉 )

          • Axxell

            Well, saying there would be pros and cons is substantially different from boiling it down to “Good move for Disney, bad for the rest of us”…Pixar is a perfect example that Disney never screwed up the dynamic of it’s acquisition; a LOT of Pixar’s best work has been post-merger.

            I never said having Disney content would kill the company; I said having ONLY Disney content would. Yes, more Star Wars and Marvel content would be awesome, but not to the detriment of the type like House of Cards, Orange is the new black, etc. If all Disney needed to push was their own franchises, why would they need Netflix in the first place?

          • Steve Steve

            a LOT of Pixar’s best work has been post-merger.

            Most of Pixar’s worst work is post merger… Most of Pixar’s work, period, is post merger.

            I’d like to adjust my original statement to: “Great move for Disney, bad move for people who care about smaller Netflix projects.” Obviously you don’t care about the little things Netflix does. It’s okay, I will not criticize you for that.

            I will criticize you for this:

            not to the detriment of the type like House of Cards, Orange is the new black, etc.

            Never did I say that the flagship programs of Netflix were at risk. This type of hyperbolic exaggeration is weak, and well below the calibre of discussion we should be having.

            You obviously don’t understand anything I’ve said about the Pixar acquisition/merger, or anything else. Or, you don’t care what I say, you’re just using me as a straw-man for justifying your own pontification. Either way, I’m out of this one.

          • Axxell

            Wait…first you started off this debate by making a broad statement saying this move would be anti-consumer, then you retract the statement…and you accuse me of exaggerating/not understanding or caring?

          • Steve Steve

            I didn’t retract the statement, I clarified it. By “rest of us,” I meant the film/tv fans who read sites like this. While the general consumer would be happy to get more mainstream content based on Disney properties, the “rest of us” will surely miss out on some interesting, esoteric work. Perhaps that work would find better opportunity elsewhere in the event Disney purchases Netflix and we have the best of all worlds… If you want to be optimistic, that is.

          • Axxell

            This is a substantially different statement than you started with…so you’re essentially retracting your original claim.