The streaming war is finally starting to get serious. After years of Netflix dominating the market, the entire streaming landscape is about to change for good with the launch of Disney+ in November, along with the arrival of services like HBO Max, Apple TV+, and NBCUniversal's Peacock. Make no mistake, Disney+ is the catalyst for this industry-defining shift, releasing the most prestigious original library streaming has to offer for about half the price of Netflix. This battle of the streamers is bound to get ugly and Disney is wasting no time knocking its biggest competitor down a few pegs.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal on Friday, Disney is banning all ads for Netflix on its multitude of networks. The piece states that Disney let its staff know earlier this year that it "wouldn't accept ads from any rival streaming services." This of course includes Netflix, as well as Peacock and HBO Max. Disney has apparently changed its mind on banning the Comcast and AT&T services, but the Netflix block remains in place.
Since Comcast/NBC and WarnerMedia (AT&T owned) offer the opportunity for Disney+ to advertise on its channels and services, Disney is allowing ads for those rival services. But Netflix doesn't run ads, so it's no deal for Disney.
This could seriously hurt Netflix's advertising strategy going forward, considering Disney owns so many prominent networks. ABC, Freeform, National Geographic, Hulu, and FX are all operated by Disney, so Netflix won't be able to air ads on any of them. This becomes especially concerning when it comes to major sporting events and awards shows on ABC. The report does state that ESPN will be the one exception to the rule and will still be allowed to run Netflix ads.
It's not like this is going to break the bank for Netflix or causing the streamer to suddenly become obsolete, but it will provide an advertising challenge that allows Disney+ to close the gap even further.
Disney+ is set to launch on November 12th and will cost just $6.99 for a monthly subscription.