Disney — whose assets include Lucasfilm, Pixar, ESPN, Marvel and ABC Television — already plans to offer its own streaming service in 2019 as a new way for consumers to access its content.
The move also will mean cutting out the middleman for distribution. Already, the company is ending its licensing agreement with Netflix at the end of 2019, meaning Disney movies will be pulled from the lineup.
Launching its own service means Disney-owned films ranging from “Black Panther” and “Iron Man” to “Monsters, Inc.” and “Toy Story” could be available on the new service, as well as Fox-owned blockbusters such as “Deadpool” and the X-Men series.
It’s uncertain how much the Disney streaming option would cost. Netflix charges between $8 and $14 a month, depending on the service you choose. Amazon Prime, which comes with access to its streaming service, costs $13 monthly.
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Meanwhile, the Disney-Fox merger could cause customers of internet TV provider Sling to see changes in their subscription lineups. As it stands, Disney assets — which include ESPN and ABC channels — are part of one $25-a-month package. Fox properties are included in a separate, but same-priced option.
“That probably won’t be sustainable,” Greenfield said.
Additionally, the merger also means the combined company would control two-thirds of another streaming service, Hulu (each already own about a third). However, former bidding rival Comcast owns the remainder.
Greenfield said it’s uncertain at this point what will happen with Hulu, given the current ownership structure.