DisneyLife and Netflix: what the streaming split teaches us about content marketing

‘DisneyLife & chill’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but that hasn’t stopped the world’s most famous mouse from scurrying into the realm of video streaming

Just over a year after streaming giant Netflix announced its exclusive ownership of all of Disney’s 2016 releases, the latter has announced a U-turn.

Come 2019, Disney’s new streaming app DisneyLife will be the only platform for access to Disney-owned content. And this doesn’t just mean Pinocchio and some High School Musical tunes, Disney will also be removing its Marvel and Star Wars movies from Netflix.

Crowded market

Netflix jumped on the streaming bandwagon way back in 2007 – in fact, they pretty much built the wagon.

Switching over from delivering DVDs to your doorstep, Netflix caught on to the popularity of sending endless content to your living room.

Now Disney wants to do the same. After recent reports showing dips in the company’s shares, Disney is looking to revive its legendary brand by providing its own platform for content.

This is just one of many transitions being made into the streaming world: Amazon Video has been around for a while, as have major streaming providers Hulu and HBO. Traditional TV channels such as Channel 4 and the BBC have seen the need to give users a more accessible route to content, creating apps and websites such as All 4 and BBC iPlayer.

More than ever, TV and film content is expected to be accessible whenever, wherever. However, with the rise of endless streaming sites such as DisneyLife, it’s getting expensive to give yourself all the available options.

Content creation

It’s a familiar problem to all content marketers: how do you stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace?

So far, the answer has been to create original content. Netflix has hit the jackpot with originals such as sci-fi mystery Stranger Things and White House drama House of Cards.

Disney too has announced that it will “make a significant investment in an annual slate of original movies, TV shows, short-form content and other Disney-branded exclusives.”

What does this mean for the world of content? It means that big brands are now seeing the value in creating it – and on a large scale. Netflix is currently allocating a whopping 50% of its spend to churning out original content.

Big names, including Mickey Mouse himself, can no longer rely on their brand image to propel profit. In the new age, content equals power.

Centralised content hub

With our favourite TV shows and movies now spread across ever-multiplying platforms, the world is crying out for a place where all content can be reached, and at a reasonable price.

Which tells us something about how we, as content marketers, should be providing content for our audience.

The DisneyLife and Netflix split causes problems for consumers: DisneyLife owns the rights to older Marvel movies, while Netflix has created newer Marvel shows such as Jessica Jones and Daredevil. There are huge benefits in supplying users with an easy, comprehensive space in which content can be accessed.

The total expenditure on subscription video-streaming services hit $6.2 billion in America alone last year, and is set to double by 2020. Future years will see users struggle to afford and maintain their content needs – and, crucially, seek out the product that can make this easier.

Although Disney may be upping its game in terms of quantity of content and its own hold over it, many streaming services are missing the mark when it comes to overall user experience.

Apply the same logic to your own content. Are you dragging your audience this way and that with a spread of content across multiple channels? A centralised, stylish content hub (such as this one produced by Progressive Content on behalf of Unum) could be just what your brand needs to become the one-stop shop for content within your sector.

Another episode, anyone?

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