Nov 18, 2018

The streaming wars: Can Disney topple Netflix?

Last year Disney put Netflix on notice, announcing it would launch its own streaming services and end distribution agreements with the online video giant. In addition to Disney, there are the tech giants: Google-owner Alphabet is in the game with YouTube, while Amazon's Prime video and live streaming Twitch platform give the e-commerce giant a stake. While the deal initially raised fears of cuts at Fox's studios, Mr Iger told financial analysts recently that the firm will increase investment to develop content for its three streaming services: Hulu, known for its general audience TV shows; ESPN+, its new US sports app; and Disney+, a family-focused service set to begin in the US in 2019. Though its services will launch in the US, Disney plans to eventually expand Disney+ and Hulu internationally, starting in the Europe. For now, it's not clear if Disney intends its online video offerings as standalone products pitched at niche groups, such as sports fans and families, or if the firm will aim for a more mass-market audience, says Dan Cryan, executive director media of technology and telecoms at IHS Markit.

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