Netflix’s content boss Ted Sarandos says Disney Plus’ reliance on franchises could lead to ‘a melting ice cube of interest’ (NFLX)
Category : entrepreneur
- Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said Disney Plus’ reliance on universes like Marvel and “Star Wars” comes with a big risk at a Paley International Council Summit event in New York on Thursday.
- “I don’t know if it’s a luxury or a trap,” Sarandos said when asked by the moderator and comedian Chris Redd about the Disney’s legacy brands. “The risk of being bound in a few universes [is] that there maybe a melting ice cube of interest over time.”
- Sarandos added that Netflix didn’t want its own brand to be defined by its shows, or for its brand to define it originals.
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Disney might be holding back its new streaming service, Disney Plus, by pegging it to few big brands like Marvel, “Star Wars,” and Pixar, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos suggested at a Paley International Council Summit event in New York on Thursday.
While Disney is a master of world building with a wealth of established brands, Netflix is the incumbent leader in streaming video.
The established intellectual property and universes that media companies like Disney and WarnerMedia have been stockpiling could be a crutch in streaming, which requires a steady supply of fresh programming for different audiences, according to Sarandos.
“I don’t know if it’s a luxury or a trap,” Sarandos said when asked by the moderator and comedian Chris Redd about the Disney’s legacy brands. “The risk of being bound in a few universes [is] that there may be a melting ice cube of interest over time.”
He added: “You have to keep reinventing, which is great. But I like the ability to keep reinventing across platforms, across universes, across programming ideas, programming verticals, without the constraints of a handful of universes.”
If anyone could win with a handful of universes, it would be Disney. The company has dominated the box office with those brands and been a king of cable TV for decades.
“They’re great at what they do,” Sarandos said. “They’re great storytellers.”
But Netflix, for its part, doesn’t want to be defined by its original series and movies. The Netflix brand could mean one thing to fans of its breakout original science fiction series “Stranger Things,” and something very different to viewers of the music competition show “Rhythm and Flow.”
“We don’t really even want our brand to define the shows or our shows to define the brand,” Sarandos said. “We want it to be about your personal relationship with the content.”
The legacy media giants that are launching over-the-top platforms, like Disney, WarnerMedia, and NBCUniversal, have another challenge that Netflix and Amazon Prime Video didn’t face when they entered the streaming space.
Disney and others built their businesses by creating content and selling it to platforms like cable companies, and services like Netflix.
In this new streaming world, Disney will have to pivot to selling its content directly to audiences. That comes with a new set of considerations, such as pricing and pacing of content that are different from when its channels were included in the basic cable bundle.
“Can they actually make more money or better their businesses selling directly to consumers?” Sarandos asked. “It’s a hard bet. It’s a bet-the-farm one.”