Disney+ doesn't launch in New Zealand until Tuesday, but it and other newcomers are already re-shaping our entertainment landscape.
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The launch of Disney's streaming service will coincide with Sky pulling its two Disney channels, ending the local pay-TV broadcaster's longtime monopoly on most of the Magic Kingdom's content (it's filling the gap with BBC kids channel CBeebies and a new family movie channel, details of which are still sketchy).
The arrival of Disney+ has also changed Netflix. In direct terms, Netflix has lost all content from Marvel (the blockbuster comic book franchise is now part of the Disney stable, along with Pixar, Star Wars maker LucasFilm, National Geographic and 20th Century Fox).
And more broadly, it is part of a wider trend for studios and traditional TV networks to seize back control of their own content to place on their own streaming services - which in turn has been the driver behind Netflix plunging itself into US$12 billion (NZ$18.7b) of debt as it commissioned original series willy-nilly to fill the content gap.
Amazon's Prime Video and newcomer Apple TV+ (which soft-launched here on November 2) are taking the same original-content approach, to the tune of billions per year.
The starkest example of a creator taking back streaming rights was NBC Universal's decision to let its current deal for Netflix to screen re-runs of The Office expire in January 2021 - meaning it will forgo US$90 million ($134m) per year. That's a lot of money, but NBC obviously figures the content is worth more on its own service.
And next May, HBO will launch HBO Max as it expands its effort to sell and stream hits like Chernobyl and Game of Thrones to viewers directly, cutting out old-school middle men (pay TV broadcasters) and new (streaming services that aggregate content).
Initially, HBO Max will be US-only, but Sky - which uses HBO content as the bedrock for its two Soho channels - will be watching nervously to see if it follows Disney+ in a global push.
The worries aren't abstract. One line of thinking goes that punters will eventually tire of shelling out for a half-dozen different streaming services.
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But at Sky's recent annual result, chief executive Martin Stewart noted how in the US, Disney is bundling three streaming services: Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu for US12.99 a month. (Disney owns 90 per cent of sports giant ESPN and 50 per cent of Hulu, which aggregates content from most of the US free-to-air channels).
Disney, Netflix and Amazon (with its Prime Video service) are in a battle for global market share - and as TVNZ chief executive Kevin Kenrick recently observed, they are willing to absorb billions in losses in the near and medium-term during this entertainment land-grab. Looking ahead, it's hard to see how local contenders will be able to compete for Hollywood and US TV content as worldwide deals are stitched up.
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TVNZ's answer was to budget $20m - or 26 per cent more - for local productions in 2020 (one of the reasons the state-owned broadcaster is projecting a $17m loss). Kenrick said he also wanted more free-to-air sport.
In March, Spark told the NZX it had begun the "formal process to select a growth partner for Lightbox" - a move seen as a precursor to offloading its entertainment streaming service. (This week, a Spark spokesman said there were no developments to report.)
Spark launched Spark Sport the same month. And Sky has also chosen to concentrate heavily on sport, from its new slogan "Life needs more sport" to concentrating its financial resources in a full-force effort to retain Sanzaar rights.
That's a good near-term strategy, given Netflix has shown zero interest in sport (wisely steering clear of ESPN, which spends more on content and rights than all-comers), while the likes of Amazon, Google and Facebook are still only nibbling around the edges. Amazon Prime Video has rights to 30 English Premier League Games in the UK this season. Will its ambitions expand further? It's another headache for the established Sky, and newcomer Spark Sport.