×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Disney CEO Iger: Netflix Will Not Be Able to Corner Internet Video Market

Mouse House is willing to cut licensing deals with other over-the-top Internet TV providers

Netflix has a “running start” in the Internet video subscription biz, but the game isn’t over yet, said Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of Walt Disney Co.

Iger, speaking Tuesday at Goldman Sachs’ Communacopia conference in New York, said Netflix will face other challengers in the subscription video-on-demand space with varied windowing and packaging.

“It’s much more a marathon than a sprint,” he said. “We like what we’ve seen from Netflix… but it’s going to be really hard for them to corner the market or get a monopoly” because the barriers to entry in SVOD are lower than they’ve been in traditional media.

Disney cut a deal with Netflix in December 2012, under which the Internet video company will obtain exclusive access to new and catalog titles in the pay TV window in the U.S. after Disney’s pact with Starz expires at the end of 2015. Netflix will pay Disney $200 million to $300 million annually for the streaming rights, according to analyst estimates.

But Disney is willing to work with other Internet TV providers, Iger said. Asked about services being developed by Intel Media and Sony to challenge traditional pay TV providers, he said Disney has been “platform agnostic for years… We’re completely open to selling our product to them.”

“We’ve taken the position that we’re better off being first or near first offering content to these platforms,” he said.

Netflix had 29.8 million U.S. streaming subscribers as of June 30, and 7.8 million internationally. The company expects continued growth but faces mounting competition from Amazon.com, which has bulked up its content lineup and like Netflix is producing original series.

As far as how Netflix is affecting Disney’s TV biz, Iger said the company has not seen evidence of consumers dropping pay TV service “because they can watch hundreds and hundreds of hours on Netflix.” That said, the Mouse House topper reiterated his position that TV Everywhere extensions — such as WatchESPN and WatchABC apps — that let cable and satellite TV subscribers watch programming outside the home are critical to reinforce the value of the traditional linear bundle.

“The most dramatic change I’ve seen in the media business is the growth of smart mobile devices,” Iger said.

Also during the session, Iger said that Disney does not see any potential acquisitions the size of Lucasfilm or Pixar on the horizon.

In July, Iger extended his contract with Disney to remain CEO through June 2016.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Barron HiltonBarron Hilton 1990

    Famed Hotelier Barron Hilton Dies at 91

    Barron Hilton, a famed hotelier who helped expand the Hilton Hotels empire and a founding owner of the Chargers NFL football team, has died, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced. He was 91. “Today the world of hospitality mourns for one of the greats. Barron Hilton was an incredible family man, business leader and philanthropist. [...]

  • Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel WME

    Endeavor Targets Sept. 27 for Stock Debut, IPO Video Tells Company's Origin Story

    After years of preparation, Endeavor is set to make its formal Wall Street debut on Sept. 27, when its stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Endeavor has targeted Sept. 26 for the final pricing of its shares. The stock will trade publicly the following day. Earlier this week, Endeavor said its [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Stock Drops After CEO Acknowledges 'Tough Competition' Coming From Disney, Apple

    Netflix shares fell as much as 7% Friday to a nine-month low, coming after CEO Reed Hastings commented that the November launches of Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus will introduce a “whole new world” of competition. Hastings, speaking at the Royal Television Society conference Friday in Cambridge, England, said, “While we’ve been competing with [...]

  • Charlie Rose Sexual Harassment

    Charlie Rose Sued for Sexual Harassment by Longtime Makeup Artist

    A makeup artist who worked for Charlie Rose for 22 years has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit, accusing the former CBS and PBS host of years of unlawful behavior toward female employees. Gina Riggi alleges that Rose was verbally abusive with her and would often make derogatory comments about her weight. She also alleges that [...]

  • Rob Stringer

    Sony Music Chief Rob Stringer on Sustaining Growth and Recovering From the 'Dark Times'

    The Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference, now in its 28th year, gives top executives at major companies the opportunity to make their case to investors — and the Goldman analysts the opportunity to keep things on the up and up. While the analysts don’t necessarily grill the executives, they don’t lob softball questions either. That was [...]

  • Frank Grillo'Avengers: Endgame' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Matt Phelps Tapped as President of Joe Carnahan, Frank Grillo's Warparty

    Frank Grillo and Joe Carnahan’s Warparty productikon banner has appointed Matt Phelps president of the company. Phelps will head the Los Angeles office and be responsible for overseeing all film and television projects. “We searched long and hard to find the right fit for Warparty and felt that Matt embodied everything that we were looking [...]

  • Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent,

    Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent, Dies at 88

    Jack Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent who represented such stars as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston and Shirley MacLaine, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88. Gilardi was known for his gentlemanly style, love of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his skill at representing top actors. He [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content