From the furor that comes with the announcement of titles leaving Netflix at the end of every month, you’d think that every remaining copy of Stand By Me or whatever was going to be rounded up by Netflix secret police and melted down into a crown for Adam Sandler to wear on the set of his latest monstrosity. Yes, Netflix has the internet-addicted world by the (eye)balls, and it’s now taken a major step to ensure that we’ll remain dependent on it for years to come. It’s joining forces with Disney.
The news comes buried towards the end of an otherwise pretty mundane press release touting Netflix’s fun, flirty slate of summer blockbuster entertainment, like Jurassic Park, the Back To The Future and Lethal Weapon movies, and, uh, Spotlight. Then, somewhere around September, this:
From September onwards, Netflix will become the exclusive US pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar.
That could have major implications for premium cable channels, which justify their subscription costs by offering access to last year’s blockbusters. Now, those coveted post-Blu-ray, pre-cable slots will go to Netflix exclusively—at least where anything Disney-related is concerned—shutting out both the HBOs and Showtimes of the world and other streaming services. It’ll also significantly reduce the wait time to watch these movies on Netflix, making the service all the more attractive to subscribers.
According to The Daily Dot, Netflix is paying dearly for this privilege, potentially hundreds of millions of dollars every year. But total streaming domination isn’t cheap. In short: You like Marvel Cinematic Universe? How about Star Wars? And you don’t want to have to go out and buy actual physical copies of the movies to watch them because it’s cold/that’s expensive/the Thai food will be here in 20 minutes? Then bow down before the red envelope.