Disney's new streaming service shouldn't scare Netflix

Peter Castro
November 11, 2017

On Disney's widely touted earnings call Thursday, The Wrap reports, CEO Bob Iger said, "Our plan on the Disney side is to price this substantially below where Netflix is".

"In shepherding this new trilogy, which is separate from the episodic Skywalker saga, Johnson will introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored", DIsney said in a statement. Disney is also planning to create original films, TV shows, short-form content and more for the service. Iger also revealed that Disney's new service will be priced "substantially below" Netflix, at least when it initially launches. Disney's unveiling of new Star Wars, Marvel, and in-house content for its forthcoming service is just the latest in a recent flurry of news pointing to a near future when the options for geeking out in front of the TV could be embarrassingly rich.

"As I've said earlier, we're going launch this thing pretty aggressively", he said on the call Thursday.

The news about a new Marvel series is not surprising, considering its Disney other most valuable property; though, it does raise the question of what will happen to the studio's other television shows.

In addition to offering the newest Disney Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars feature films after they play in theaters, the service will also have four or five exclusive feature films each year, Iger said. And higher costs for sports programming cut into media networks' revenue.

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Disney revenues were down 3% to $12.8 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter, with net income down 1% to $1.7 billion.

Disney shares (DIS) were up more than 2.5% Friday to $105.38.

Burbank, California-based Disney faced other headwinds this year, including a light release schedule of just eight films from its movie division, a drop from past years, and the ongoing challenge of finding consumer products to match the bonanzas generated by "Frozen" and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens". "We can't wait to continue with this new series of films". The higher results were due to global growth at Disneyland Paris and Shanghai Disney Resort, partially offset by domestic decreases, which were impacted by Hurricane Irma.

For the quarter ended September 30, Disney reported earnings of $1.07 a share, excluding some items, missing the $1.14 average of analysts' estimates.

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