Disney has banned Netflix from advertising on any of its entertainment TV channels.
The only exception to the rule is ESPN.
This is seen as a major move by Disney ahead of the launch of its upcoming Disney+ streaming service.
Disney+, the ‘Netflix competitor’
For one thing, it is only Netflix that Disney has banned and the only exception to this rule is ESPN. The reason given by Disney is that it has business relationships with the other companies and not Netflix. Likewise, the ESPN exception is due to the fact that Netflix is not a provider of sports. In short, Disney won’t show Netflix ads now on any channel deemed in competition with Netflix.
While the competition element might make sense, it’s worth keeping in mind Disney is permitting other competitors to continue to advertise on its channels. Again, this is due to those mutual business and/or advertising relationships.
Considering Netflix does not have ads, the last part makes the situation perfectly clear. If Disney can’t advertise on Netflix, Netflix can’t advertise on Disney’s channels.
The ‘streaming wars’ are heating up
Although Disney is not directly saying this is the result of Disney+, the suggestion is there.
This is especially true as Disney now appears to be taking a very hard line against what it perceives to be the competition in general.
Earlier in the week it became clear there’s a chance Disney+ won’t make its way to Fire TV. The reason being Disney does not want to agree to Amazon’s ad space request. This is in spite of Amazon’s request being a common request and one similar to what other streaming platforms would demand.
Again, while that dispute may be resolved, and although Disney has not said it’s because of Prime Video, it is hard to ignore Disney’s attempt to limit Amazon and Netflix’s involvement with its services going forward.
The wider takeaway here is what this means for the industry as a whole. Although services compete with each other, they have traditionally agreed advertising deals with competitors. Disney having now firmly laid the ‘no deal’ gauntlet down might prove to be a turning point with other services following suit.
If that happens, it will be another example of streaming services not only evolving the TV industry, but also reshaping it.