It’s plastered all over the news and social media. The rumours are true. Disney is leaving Netflix.

But don’t fear – the move won’t be happening until 2019, as the studio’s deal with Netflix doesn’t expire until 2018. What exactly does it mean for lovers of Disney and Netflix fans? We round up what’s been confirmed so far, and how it’ll affect viewers.

www.netflix.com

Game-changer

No-one can deny the sheer powerhouse that Netflix has proven itself to be. It shifted the entire format of subscription video-on-demand services when it started to produce its own content in 2013. All the while, it continually updated its impressive back catalogue. There are steps being made towards more varied programming all the time, with CBS All Access becoming the first broadcaster-owned SVOD service in 2014.

But Netflix truly changed the game. It taught studios and reminded audiences of the timeless value of re-visiting archives, and the significance of creating fresh content. May 2016 was when the magic really began for Netflix users. The streaming giant became the exclusive home for Disney, Marvel and Pixar films. So, really, it’s been a pretty short-lived love affair.

New beginnings

When Disney finally end their contract with Netflix, the plan is to launch their very own streaming service. This new platform will exclusively show Pixar and Disney-branded movies. Nothing has been confirmed for Star Wars or Marvel features yet, although CEO Bob Iger has indicated that the two franchises may branch off into their own on-demand platforms. All in all, we could be looking at a bundle of three separate streaming services – 2019 may be an expensive year!

A natural move for Disney

It seems a fair enough move for Disney to make. Their extensive catalogue of traditional films and modern classics has built up a massive worldwide culture. Being a Disney-lover is essentially the original pop culture fandom. Sorry, Beliebers and Little Monsters. The studio’s first motion picture dates all the way back to 1937 – Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs if you were interested.

This news is sure to excite those Disnerds (is that the official term?) who will possibly love the idea of exclusivity, but it perhaps won’t excite their credit cards so much.

What does the future look like?

The change won’t involve a sudden cut-off. Netflix should have the rights to show Disney’s films up until the end of 2019. This means that the next two Star Wars films will be available on the king of SVODs, but fans who are subscribed to Netflix will have to go elsewhere for the third instalment. Rumour has it, two of the films launching exclusively on the new Mouse-shaped streaming service will be Toy Story 4 and the follow-up to Frozen.

Good news for Netflix lovers, though. The platform will likely be forced to keep producing its own original content to make up for the loss of Disney. Its track record – Stranger Things, Narcos & Orange is the New Black to name a few – is a force to be reckoned with.  

Emma Aldington

As Limely’s newest member of the team, Emma joined in August ’17. Emma is fresh out of uni with a degree in English Language, and plenty of experience in blogging. She is our resident content writer and social media wizard.