Big blow to Aussie streaming as Disney kicks off
Disney has pulled its content off streaming service Stan as it gears up to launch its own video-on-demand offering in Australia tomorrow.
The Nine-owned streaming business announced its partnership with Disney last year, providing customers with a library of family friendly movies and TV shows.
The Disney titles were a major way for Stan to attract customers, with a Stan source telling AdNews it would drive long-term subscriber growth.
But the launch of Disney+ has Stan removing the Disney tile on its homepage along with animated favourites Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Frozen and Cars.
However, select Disney, Marvel and Star Wars titles are available on Foxtel and its streaming service Foxtel Now.
Writer for television blog TV Tonight, David Knox, said streaming services needed first-run premium international series and Australian originals to drive the subscriptions.
"The Mandalorian will get some buzz as an original series, which is what you really need to drive subscriptions," Knox said.
"Apple TV+ landed with a handful of titles and only Morning Wars seems to be cutting through the noise."
Stan chief executive officer Mike Sneesby told the Screen Australia podcast the loss of Disney content would not hurt his streaming service and said tomorrow's launch would be "terrific for everyone in the market".
He said Stan distinguished itself in Australia by filling the gaps left by the international streaming platforms, such as Netflix.
Stan claims 10 per cent of its content is Australian.
"That's a key metric our content team has always had, was to ensure minimal duplication between us and Netflix as we buy and create content," Mr Sneesby said.
"Disney has fantastic content. The brand and franchises on Stan have performed very well, but in the broader scheme of things, they are one in about 100 of our important distributors of first-run content.
"It's a phenomenal brand, phenomenal content, but for us it's part of a much broader content line-up."
Disney+ will offer Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic titles for $8.99 a month or $89.99 for a year-long subscription.
It's library will include a new live-action version of Disney animated classic Lady and the Tramp.
It offers a free seven-day trial for new customers.