On November 12th, Disney launched in Canada its streaming service, Disney+. Many articles have been written about it and most have been detailing on what platforms the service would be available, what content would be present at launch and in the near future as well as its cost; the most complete reports written about it have even compared to other OTT services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc.
All this is absolutely fine but very few articles have highlighted what sets Disney+ aside from its streaming competitors on a business standpoint and how Disney broadcasting directly to Canadians without dealing with Canadian operators is bound to impact the Great White North’s market in a big way.
Let’s be clear; Disney+ is not just another streaming service; it is a juggernaut, a top world brand with mass appeal one needs to look no further than its rocky launch due to high demand to see it; however, unlike its competition in the streaming world, it’s the only service which owns the rights of its entire collection which includes not only all the Disney and Disney Channels back catalogue, but also Marvel, Pixar, StarWars, and National Geographic libraries of content.
Netflix, Prime Video, and the likes are massively investing in producing their own original content but they still heavily rely on distribution deals; when Netflix pays $100M USD to retain the streaming rights of Friends for one year; it costs Disney+ nothing to stream every season of the The Simpsons as its parent company has acquired Twentieth Century Fox and the Disney vault is full of content that’s been more than amortized; including 13 of the 20 highest-grossing movies of all time.
Buena Vista bringing Disney+ to Canada is not only going to impact the Canadian streaming field but it will also heighten the effect of cord-cutting on Canadian television as we know it.