Sony Pictures has announced that Netflix won the auction for its theatrical releases. Moving its theatrical releases from STARZ over to Netflix. In what is a major blow to STARZ, as that is one of the big things that kept STARZ subscribers on the service.
Basically, this means that after the theatrical release, Sony Pictures movies will head to Netflix, as they currently do for STARZ. This will start with its 2022 slate.
It has also set a first-look agreement with Netflix for all of its original movies that are produced for the direct-to-streaming market. This deal also requires Netflix to commit to a certain number of titles from the studio, however this does not stop Sony from selling direct-to-streaming titles to Netflix’s rivals. Netflix will also license an unspecific number of older titles from Sony’s movie vault.
While the amount of this deal has not yet been announced, it is believed to be a record-setting deal. And Netflix definitely has the money to make that happen. As it has continued to invest pretty heavily in original and new content for its service.
How does this affect STARZ?
One of STARZ’ biggest selling points, is getting all of these Sony Picture movies immediately after they leave the theaters. Since STARZ doesn’t have a whole lot of original content.
We’ll have to see how things shake out next year when this deal actually starts. But this could dramatically decrease the size of the library that STARZ has.
However, some industry insiders say that Sony is also working on a second agreement for its theatrical movies. It’s unclear how that will shake out at this time.
Netflix is a much larger streaming service than STARZ, and does have plans that cost about twice as much. In the US, Netflix has around 74 million subscribers. And about 204 million worldwide.