After months of speculation, it seems that Disney’s upcoming “Netflix-killer” gets an official name, and it’s Disney Play.
(…) Disney will say goodbye to about $300 million in annual revenue it currently gets from Netflix for pay-TV rights to its theatrical releases, starting with its 2019 movie slate. Those movies — including “Captain Marvel,” “Dumbo,” “Toy Story 4,” “The Lion King,” “Frozen 2” and a new “Star Wars” installment — will now be key selling points for the new service Iger has referred to as “Disney Play.”
If Iger is referring to the service as “Disney Play,” that’s likely the official name. However, Disney has not sent out an official press release confirming the name.
Industry analysts are curious how Disney will be able to juggle taking on Netflix head-to-head, manage the Fox merger and also keep their movie and theme park businesses humming along.
The stakes couldn’t be higher for Iger and his team. Disney has promised to find $2 billion in synergies within two years of the Fox acquisition closing, and it has vowed to chop down its debt load at the same time. Some question how Disney can pull off both of those things at the same time.
“The single worst thing Disney could do is launch a DTC product that consumers find underwhelming,” analyst Todd Juenger of Bernstein Research wrote this month. “We struggle to see how Disney can simultaneously make this [sustained] investment while also de-leveraging, even in a stable macro environment. We fear they will either underinvest in the DTC product, or fail to delever.”
Disney’s streaming service launches sometime in 2019.
Stay tuned to The Kingdom Insider for more on the Disney streaming service as we get closer to launch.