With the major Hollywood Studios constantly looking to make a profit from streaming, many launched their own streaming services and made everything exclusive to their own platforms in the hope of getting more subscribers. Disney CEO Bob Iger referred to licensing to Netflix as selling weapons to another country. However, with the push to make more money, many of the studios have begun licensing content back to Netflix.
However, Disney isn’t planning on “chasing bucks” by licensing its “core brands” to its biggest rival, though Bob Iger did confirm during the latest investors quarterly call that they have been licensing some content to Netflix , but also confirmed what won’t be licensed out:
“We’ve actually been licensing content to Netflix and are going to continue to. We’re actually in discussion with them now about some opportunities, but I wouldn’t expect that we will license our core brands to them. Those are obviously competitive advantages for us and differentiators. Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars for instance, they are all doing very, very well on our platform and I don’t see why just to basically chase bucks we should do that when they are really really important building blocks to the current and future of our streaming business”.
Bob Iger has been critical of some of the generic general entertainment content that’s in their library and has been licensing out content from ABC and 20th Television to different platforms around the world, especially content that isn’t part of a major franchise.
Later this year, Warner Brothers Discovery will be licensing out some of its DC films to Netflix and has already licensed out some HBO shows. During their investors call today, Warner Brothers Discovery CEO David Zazlav spoke about why they are going to be licensing content to Netflix:
“In terms of some of the content that you’ve seen like DC we put those in windows, so someone might have it for three months or six months. We always have those movies and we have the complete set of all those movies. We won’t do it unless the economics are significant, but in many cases it really helps us. People come back and then they want to see the full bouquet of DC movies and the only place to do that is with us or it enhances the quality of the DC library. So, overall I think we’re trying to figure out exactly how to maximize the value and we debated all the time, I think we’re doing a very good job, but as I mentioned there’ll be a lot that you’ll never see because it just belongs to us,”
While we shouldn’t expect to see any Marvel or Star Wars shows turning up on Netflix anytime soon, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see some additional content licensed out, possibly with a non-exclusive shared agreement so Disney can also hold on to them.
There are, however, many advantages to licensing out some shows on Netflix, not just the extra money that brings in, but it also allows huge reach to get to a larger audience, as we’ve recently seen with “Suits”, which has been a streaming juggernaut over the past few months.
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