Impending Netflix-Disney Deal is a Pretty Big Deal

Kamran Yunus/Staff Illustrator

Jennica Martin
Staff Writer

This November, Netflix will have full streaming rights for all the movies made by Disney, Lucasfilm, Pixar and Marvel released after 2016. This means that all your future favorite Disney, Star Wars and Avengers movies will be streaming exclusively on Netflix. And if this deal works out well, it could reshape how everyone watches media.

There already has been a popular transition from subscribing to cable networks to online streaming websites. Many people, especially college students, have opted for online streaming over cable networks to save the price of buying a television and cable subscription. If other media companies start following the trend of giving full streaming rights to a specific streaming company, streaming will eventually become the most popular way of watching media.

Netflix is already well-known for streaming some of TV’s most popular, iconic shows. Over the past few years, Netflix has been creating its own original series, which has only made it more popular. It’s a strong competitor against other streaming websites, like Amazon and Hulu, but it appears that it is also aiming to start competing against cable networks and other streaming channels, like HBO and Showtime. However, Netflix is not known for streaming popular movies, as its movie selection is limited to some blockbuster films and a variety of other relatively unknown films. With the addition of the incredibly popular Disney, Marvel and Star Wars movies to its already successful original series, Netflix will surely be on the top in terms of viewership.

It’s obvious that this deal will benefit Netflix, but it could be detrimental to film companies and the movie fans. With these movies exclusive to Netflix, movie fans will have few options to view them: subscribe to Netflix, rent the movies for a high price or watch them illegally. For those who are short on money but dying to see these movies, they might have to resort to watching them illegally. Illegal streaming has had a big economic impact on the film industry, and if film companies are limiting the watching options for potential customers, illegal streaming could rise. However, the government has increased its efforts to shutting down these illegal websites. Netflix has also paid a lot of money for the streaming rights, about six billion dollars, which could compensate for however much money Disney loses to illegal streaming.

These big film companies have the right to license all of their films to one streaming company, but it makes it awfully inconvenient for potential customers to watch those films if they do not have access to that particular streaming company. Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel have been producing huge blockbuster films that moviegoers will certainly want to watch again in the comfort of their own homes. Unfortunately, if these moviegoers don’t have Netflix, they probably can’t watch these movies again.

This deal might not seem like a major issue because most people can live their lives comfortably without seeing Frozen 2 a second time at home. But most people in this era can’t live their lives without seeing their favorite shows and movies on television. If this Disney-Netflix deal becomes a trend, there is a possibility that streaming websites will be the dominant way of watching shows. The millions of people that still pay for cable just might start paying for Netflix subscriptions if that’s where all the good movies and shows are at.

For now, I’ll settle for the old movies they show on cable channels. As cable becomes obsolete I just might start saving money for a Netflix subscription.