Netflix has been a real contender for a long time, but it looks like Disney aims to rival and eventually eclipse the longtime streaming juggernaut with its own streaming service, Disney+, launching on November 12.
And Mickey and Co. are pulling out all the stops. The Wall Street Journal reports that Disney is banning all Netflix advertising from its TV networks. For audiences, this simply means that there won’t be any Stranger Things trailers on ABC or Bojack Horseman promos on ESPN.
Disney originally told its employees that the policy would apply to all competing streaming services, but eventually scaled it back to only apply to Netflix, the biggest player in what feels like the only corner of the entertainment industry it has yet to dominate.
Disney’s aggressive acquisitions were arguably the beginning of this strategy. Both Star Wars and Marvel are franchises that have a lot of appeal for kids, known quantities that can reliably attract eyeballs, and both were acquired by Disney. Taking their content away from Netflix was a natural move to consolidate power, as was subsequently putting every Star Wars and Marvel movie on Disney+.
Both of those properties are integral parts of the initial slate of Disney+ titles, with The Mandalorian a highly anticipated Star Wars series and a slew of Marvel titles—now elevated join the MCU—in the works.
Disney has also been very aggressive in trying to build a lasting user base before the launch of Disney+. Fans can get the service for $4 a month if they sign up for three years or get a bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ for just $12. They can also watch it on the vast majority of smart TV’s and streaming devices, with the notable exception of Amazon devices.
For its part, Netflix has responded with more spending on original programming and acquired shows in an effort to weather the storm. We’re not sure what’s going to happen yet, but it’s safe to say that the streaming wars are going to escalate for the foreseeable future.