Netflix is hoping to hold onto Star Wars and Marvel feature films when Disney ends their distribution agreement in 2019.
At least, according to Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, who told Reuters (via The Playlist) that the companies are “still in active discussions” about keeping the Marvel Studios and Star Wars content on the streaming platform after the end of the current agreement eighteen months from now. As announced at an earnings call earlier this week Disney CEO Bob Iger said the company plans to start its own branded streaming service built from the companies extensive library of feature film and television shows.
And as previously reported, Disney’s departure may not directly impact the continued presence of the Netflix original Marvel TV shows like Luke Cage or Jessica Jones. But holding onto the Marvel Studios feature film product may be part of Netflix’s long-term strategy. Clearly Disney sees the value in them as Iger even suggested the company may try to start a Marvel-only streaming service. “We want to be mindful of the Star Wars fan, the Marvel fan, and to what extent those fans either overlap with Disney fans or are completely separate and incremental to Disney,” said Iger. Perhaps Netflix can pony up the cash to prevent such an occurrence. In the meantime, it might be wise to invest in physical copies of your favorite Marvel and Star Wars flicks if you haven’t already done so. I know I need a copy of Ant-Man.
Meanwhile, Sarandos admitted the increasing difficulty in licensing other studios’ product led to Netflix investing in original content, adding that the company was “anticipating it may be not as easy a conversation with studios and networks” to renegotiate content deals. Considering quality shows like Glow, Stranger Things, the Mystery Science Theater 3000 continuation and the superb reinvention of One Day at a Time, we in the audience are certainly better off for Netflix seeing where things were headed.
But as I said the other day, the stream can only split so many times and you have to wonder how many companies can start their own $14.99 streaming service before consumers say no.