Netflix has announced it’s adding a slew of Disney and Pixar films to its online streaming service in the UK and Ireland, including Ratatouille, Wall-E, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. The deal also sees Disney classics such as Dumbo and The Aristocats added to its roster.
While these titles are available now, Netflix has also announced that it will be adding a selection of “exclusive” titles from Disney, Marvel and Dreamworks SKG (whose films are marketed and distributed by Disney) in the coming months, including The Help, War Horse, People Like Us and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. From next year, it will also add Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, John Carter, and The Muppets.
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While this is no doubt good news for existing Netflix subscribers, particularly those with children, this may not be the most compelling of propositions to lure new bodies on board. For example, earlier this year, BSkyB announced its first co-branded linear channel for Disney and Pixar flicks (in addition to Sky’s existing Disney Channel), which will see the satellite service air a number of big-name Disney titles first, once their cinema run has ended.
Meanwhile, over in the US, Netflix has already scored a major scoop by gaining exclusive access to Disney’s first-run films in a multi-year deal, though admittedly this doesn’t kick-off until 2016. But as we said at the time, this really brings video-streaming into the next era.
“We are delighted to be able to offer our members an incredible variety of fantastic family films, from recent hits like Marvel’s Avengers Assemble to beloved classics like Mary Poppins,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “We aim to make Netflix better all the time and hope members enjoy the rich offering of films we are making available from the Disney studios.”
Given that this deal includes older classics and ones that will be a few years old by the time Netflix gets them next year, this news will be met with mixed feelings. Ultimately, however, for those already subscribing to Netflix, having access to a broader selection of Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Dreamworks titles can only be a good thing.
Netflix claims more than 36 million members in 40 countries, and has been moving increasingly towards original TV shows in recent times, including horror series Hemlock Grove which first aired last month.
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