Lest anyone wasn’t clear about why it’s called the Streaming Wars for a reason, Disney has just offered a few new examples as it prepares to engage in a pitched battle with Netflix once its Disney+ streamer finally launches on November 12.
Disney is reportedly planning to ban ads for anything Netflix-related on all of the properties it owns, save for ESPN. That’s according to CNBC, which was told by a Disney spokesman that “The direct-to-consumer business has evolved, with many more entrants looking to advertise in traditional television, and across our portfolio of networks.” The implication being — why should Disney offer a platform for a rival like Netflix?
It’s something of an evolution from Disney’s original position on this matter, which was to issue a blanket ban on ads related to any competitor of Disney+. Meanwhile, this also follows recent comments from Disney CEO Bob Iger that are tantamount to even more shots fired against Netflix — comments that equate to Iger claiming all Netflix cares about is volume and throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.
“What Netflix is doing is making content to support a platform,” Iger told a New York Times reporter. “We’re making content to tell great stories. It’s very different.”
That’s in line with similar recent public remarks from Disney executive Agnes Chu, who stressed to another reporter that: “We’re not making a large volume of things just to make them. Everything we do, we have a very clear focus that it needs to meet the standards that the originals set, and, hopefully, take it to another level on Disney+.”
Of course, there’s an element of bombast and exaggeration in comments like those. Does Stranger Things strike any of you as fitting in with that line of making something just to make it? Of course not. It’s a fantastic series — something of a phenomenon, even. And you can point to a slew of additional examples like that on Netflix. Nevertheless, here we are, on the precipice of serious competition between Netflix and one of the most storied brands in the history of the entertainment industry. It will be fascinating to watch, almost as interesting as the content both services will use to try to keep you hooked.