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Disney Fueled Streaming War by Grabbing Netflix Executive


Jul. 1 2019, Published 7:46 a.m. ET

Disney hired Netflix’s Brodlie

Walt Disney (DIS) has reportedly poached a top director from Netflix (NFLX) to develop international content for its upcoming streaming product called Disney+. Matt Brodlie was serving as an executive in Netflix’s original film division and has directed popular original films including To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Ibiza, and award-winning movies like Roma. In Disney, Brodlie will decide what content needs to be produced for the international customers of Disney+, which is launching on November 12.

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The move could threaten Netflix’s subscriber base, which has been gaining on massive investment in original content and pricing. Netflix dominates the streaming industry with a global subscriber base of 150 million with additions of 9.6 million in the first quarter. However, the growing number of players in the streaming industry might dent its dominance.

Disney+ to compete with Netflix

Disney, through its family-oriented ad-free subscription product Disney+, is planning to offer a wide range of Disney-branded new films and classic TV shows, as well as original series and programming from brands like Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic brands. Disney also has a sports streaming service ESPN+ and holds a majority stake in Hulu, which is an online streaming service provider.

Disney+ is expected to be priced at $6.99 per month, lower than Netflix’s basic plan at $8.99 as well as the most popular plan at $12.99 per month. Moreover, Disney’s launch of the Disney+ product would also result in ending the movie streaming contract with Netflix.

Per Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne, Disney+ might outpace Netflix numbers, especially in the US markets. Netflix is likely to attract 79 million domestic subscribers by 2024 in comparison to 95 million US subscribers expected from the combination of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ in the same period.


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