Netflix is finally starting to regain some of the ground it has lost over the last few years. Today the company announced that they have come to an agreement with Disney, which will bring a huge number of family-friendly moves back onto the Netflix Streaming service.
Netflix signs deal with Disney
Titles will be returning, but no new Disney movies until 2016
The absence of Disney and Pixar movies on Netflix Streaming has been a big problem for many customers. Parents with young children have been particularly irked by the loss of the Disney catalog from the streaming service. From classics like Dumbo to recent films like Toy Story, the kids movies just are not there. Instead, kids have to make do with straight-to-video off-brand movies like Kiara the Brave, a movie positioned to trick people into thinking it's Disney's Brave.
The new deal will roll out in stages. Beginning Tuesday, Netflix Streaming subscribers will have access to classic Disney movies, including Dumbo, Pocahontas and Alice in Wonderland.
The second stage begins in 2013. This is when new and recent Disney straight-to-video releases will begin showing up on Netflix Streaming.
New Disney feature films won't come to Netflix Streaming until 2016. However, this does include the intriguing possibility of the new Star Wars movie being available on Netflix Streaming, as Disney has announced a 2015 release date for their first addition to the Star Wars canon.
This 2016 date also marks the point when Starz loses its licensing exclusivity with Disney. This will be a big blow to the Starz monopoly, which has been buying up all the titles in the world over the last decade. I don't know what they are doing with the streaming rights to these movies, to be honest. But it is certainly frustrating not being able to watch them.
For those who want to watch Disney movies streaming online but can't wait for the Netflix deal to go through, I recommend Amazon's new streaming video service. It costs between $1.99 and $3.99 per "rental," which gives you access to the title for 24 hours. But it's still easier and cheaper than going to the video store. And if you don't watch enough of these movies to justify the extra cost of a Netflix DVD subscription, it's a great way to go.
Netflix is still clinging to life, but it is certainly finishing out the year in a weaker position than it started. The company recently had to adopt a hasty "poison pill" provision after a notorious corporate raider bought a big chunk of Netflix stock, presumably with the intent of staging a hostile takeover.