Disney Will Still License Content to Netflix – Just Not Pixar, Marvel, or ‘Star Wars’

Anthony Daniels and Carrie Fisher in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

Disney will still license content to Netflix — just not Pixar, Marvel, or Star Wars content. Those movies and TV series remain exclusive to Disney+.

IndieWire reports that Disney CEO Bob Iger doesn't believe that Disney needs to license its best content to another streamer for extra cash. “We’ve actually been licensing content to Netflix, and are going to continue too,” says Iger. “We’re actually in discussion with them now about some opportunities, but I wouldn’t expect that we will license our core brands to them. Those are real — obviously — competitive advantages for us and and differentiators. Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, for instance are all doing very, very well on our platform. And I don’t see why, just to basically to chase bucks, we should [license them out] when they are really really important building blocks to the current and future of our streaming business.”

IndieWire reports, “For Disney, the content it has licensed to Netflix is also little-seen, underserved content that could be getting more love elsewhere. But there’s been very little of it on Netflix since the inception of Disney+ (a rep for Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment about exactly which titles). If Iger is going to make Disney+ profitable, which he said today he still expects to do by the end of 2024, he’s going to need those core brands to make it happen.”

Disney Plans to Merge Disney+ and Hulu into One App

Prey Movie (2022)
Image Credit: Hulu.

Disney reportedly plans to pay $8.6 billion or more to buy the remaining 33% stake in Hulu currently held by Comcast. Hulu, which launched in late 2007, has become one of the most valuable streamers with regard to original and licensed content. Not only does the streamer boast a collection of Disney content and ABC programming, Disney's acquisition of 20th Century Fox assets in 2019 means that Hulu added Fox movies, TV programming (like The Simpsons), and original movies such as the Predator prequel Prey (pictured, above) to its library.

IndieWire reports that Disney intends to merge Disney+ and Hulu into a single-app experience. Iger says a beta version of the new app will debut next month with an official launch set for spring 2024 — provided that the planned buyout of Comcast's remaining stake in Hulu takes place. No word yet about the title of the new Disney+/Hulu hybrid app, but the planned merger is another reason that Disney would hesitate to license its best content to Netflix anytime soon. 

Author: Robert DeSalvo

Title: Entertainment News Writer


Robert DeSalvo is a professional writer and editor with over 25 years of experience at print and online publications such as Movieline, Playboy, PCH, Fandango, and The A.V. Club. He currently lives in Los Angeles, the setting of his favorite movie, Blade Runner. Robert has interviewed dozens of actors, directors, authors, musicians, and other celebrities during his journalism career, including Brian De Palma, Nicolas Cage, Dustin Hoffman, John Waters, Sigourney Weaver, Julianne Moore, Bryan Cranston, Anne Rice, and many more. Horror movies, sci-fi, cult films as well as gothic, postpunk, and synthwave music are what Robert geeks over.