Disney to pull titles from Netflix and launch rival streaming service

Disney is to pull its content from streaming service Netflix as it launches a rival TV viewing platform in the US.

Disney is to withdraw its much-loved characters from Netflix's streaming service.
Disney is to withdraw its much-loved characters from Netflix's streaming service.

The entertainment giant said it would remove its titles, which include hit films such as Frozen and the Toy Story series, from Netflix in two years time.

It said its new streaming service would include new releases from 2019, such as the highly anticipated sequel to Frozen and the live-action version of the Lion King. It said that in addition, it would make a "substantial investment in original movies, original television series, and short form content" for the platform.

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Announcing the changes as part of the company's third quarter results statement, Lowell Singer, senior vice president of investor relations at Disney said: "One of the most compelling brands for a direct-to-consumer product is Disney, and to that end, we will launch a Disney-branded streaming service in 2019, which will be unlike anything else in the market. The new service will become the exclusive home in the US for subscription video-on-demand viewing of the newest live action and animated movies from Disney and Pixar, beginning with the 2019 slate, which includes Toy Story 4, the sequel to Frozen, and The Lion King from Disney live-action, along with other highly-anticipated movies."

He added: "With this strategic shift, we'll end our distribution agreement with Netflix for subscription streaming of new releases beginning with the 2019 calendar-year theatrical slate."

Disney has a number of titles on the UK version of Netflix, but also already has a separate streaming service, Disney Life. It is unclear how UK services will be affected.