Bob Iger Says Disney Won’t License ‘Core Brands’ to Competitors Like Netflix

But the CEO did say the company is in talks with Netflix to license other content

"The Marvels"
"The Marvels" (CREDIT: Walt Disney Company)

As licensing content across streaming platforms becomes commonplace, Disney CEO Bob Iger said the entertainment giant isn’t planning on licensing its “core brands” to competitors, but is currently working on a licensing deal with Netflix.

“We’ve actually been licensing content to Netflix, and are going to continue — we’re actually in discussion about some opportunities — but I wouldn’t expect that we will license our core brands to them,” Iger said during Disney’s fourth quarter earnings call on Wednesday.

The Disney boss said the company will refrain from licensing content with “real, obviously competitive advantages” that stand as “differentiators.”

“Disney Pixar, Marvel and ‘Star Wars,’ for instance, [are] all doing very, very well on our platform, and I don’t see why— just to basically chase bucks — we should do that when they are really, really important building blocks to the current and future of our streaming business,” Iger said.

Disney’s strategy of holding back some advantageous content stands in stark contrast to that of Warner Bros. Discovery, which has no qualms about licensing DC movies to stream on Netflix ahead of the release “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” this December.

In fact, beginning Dec. 1, DC films including “Man of Steel,” “Batman v. Superman,” “Suicide Squad,” “Wonder Woman,” “Justice League,” “Birds of Prey,” “Wonder Woman: 1984” and “The Suicide Squad” will be available to stream on Netflix in addition to Max for a limited time.

“Someone might have it for three months or six months. We always have those movies and we have the complete set of all those movies,” Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said during Wednesday morning’s third quarter earnings call. “And candidly, we have found that we won’t do it unless the economics are significant. But in many cases, it really helps us. People come back and then they want to see the full bouquet of DC movies and the only place to do that is with us. Or it enhances the quality of the DC library.”

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