The streaming service wars have begun in earnest now that Disney is entering the fray with Disney+. The upcoming streaming services launches next month, but Disney has already been making some moves ahead of its launch to better cement its position, and that included a move regarding ads. Disney made waves when it revealed that while other competitors like NBC, Apple, and Warner Bros. would be able to buy ads on Disney networks, Netflix will not, a move that isn't exactly surprising given the somewhat testy nature of the two services' relationship. Recently Disney CEO Bob Iger was asked about the decision (via Wall Street Journal), and it wasn't something he spearheaded.
Iger said he did not personally have anything to do with the decision to stop accepting ads from Netflix, and initially, he wasn't a huge fan. The Ad Division broke down the reasoning behind it, however, and ultimately won him over enough to support their decision. "My initial reaction was that it felt somewhat petty, but when it was described to me, I decided to support the decision that was made," Iger said.
That's all well and good until you consider that Apple and Amazon also have streaming platforms that will compete with Disney and they can purchase ads on Disney services without an issue. For Iger, the difference comes down to what they offer, and in both Apple and Amazon's cases, they market products beyond entertainment, so they will be allowed.
On the surface, it does seem petty, especially after the back and forth between the two companies. When Disney started ramping up its content for Disney+, they did not renew the agreement with Netflix in regards to their MCU movies, taking away a nice exclusive pull for Netflix. Netflix and Disney then couldn't agree on terms to continue the Marvel TV shows, so Netflix cancelled all of the series the two were working on, including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and more.
Now Disney's latest move is the block against Netflix ads, and we're betting we haven't seen the last move in this chess match in the least.
Disney+ launches on November 12th.