In the latest battle in the streaming wars, Disney will no longer accept advertising from Netflix on most of its entertainment TV networks. The networks that will no longer run ads include Disney-owned ABC, Freeform, and FX. However, Netflix can still run ads on Disney-owned sports network ESPN.
This decision to stop running ads comes after Disney failed to see the two companies having a mutually beneficial relationship. In a statement, Disney said, “We reevaluated our strategy to reflect the comprehensive business relationships we have with many of these companies.”
For instance, Netflix doesn’t run ads on its platform. Due to this, Disney cannot use Netflix to promote its films, TV shows, or upcoming streaming service, Disney+. However, this move won’t affect other companies like Amazon, Comcast, and Apple. These other companies have their own streaming services but maintain broader relationships with Disney.
Nevertheless, Disney+ will be in direct competition with Netflix. Giving a competitor publicity on your platform isn’t a good idea. Hence, it isn’t unusual for TV networks to refuse to carry advertisements for rival competitors. This is probably why Disney is reevaluating its policies.
Speaking to The Verge, a Disney spokesperson said,
“The direct-to-consumer business has evolved, with many more entrants looking to advertise in traditional television, and across our portfolio of networks. While the initial decision was strictly advertising based, we reevaluated our strategy to reflect the comprehensive business relationships we have with many of these companies, as direct-to-consumer is one element.”
Usually, broadcast networks run ads for streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. However, as the entertainment landscape changes and streaming services are becoming a primary product for legacy media companies, those guidelines and attitudes are changing. This shows how tense relationships are going to become.
While Disney networks like ESPN are still carrying ads for streaming services like Apple’s upcoming TV Plus, it appears those relationships will have to be mutually beneficial going forward.
This isn’t the only major conflict Disney faces when it comes to competitors in the streaming industry. The company considers launching Disney+ without making it available on Amazon’s Fire TV, due to conflicts over advertising. Disney wants to keep a firm grip on all its advertising spaces.
If that happens, it would be a big blow to Disney+’s launch. This is because Amazon Fire TV is the second-largest distributor of streaming apps.
Disney+ launches on November 12 and will cost $6.99 per month. Meanwhile, the streaming wars, as they’re colloquially called, are still heating up.