×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Disney Hires Apple Veteran to Launch Its Netflix Killer (EXCLUSIVE)

Disney’s BAMTech Media has hired former Apple and Samsung executive Kevin Swint as SVP and GM, Disney SVOD Service, to build, and ultimately run, the company’s upcoming Netflix competitor, Variety has learned.

Swint joined this month, and will be reporting to BAMTech CEO Michael Paull, a BAMTech spokesperson confirmed.

Most recently, Swint worked as VP product / content & services for Samsung, where he built out the company’s Milk Music streaming service as well as Milk Video, a mobile video aggregation service. Before that, he worked for five years at Apple, heading the worldwide iTunes movie business. Earlier in his career, Swint led digital products and services for Walmart.

Disney announced last summer that it plans to launch an ESPN-branded direct-to-consumer offering early this year, followed by a Disney-branded service in 2019. To power the service, Disney acquired a large stake in the streaming solutions provider BAMTech for $1.58 billion last year. Disney had previously owned a smaller stake in BAMTech, and now holds the majority ownership.

To prepare for the launch of its own subscription video business, Disney announced that it won’t renew its distribution agreement with Netflix. Future Disney movies will instead be streaming on the company’s own service, starting with the 2019 theatrical slate.

Disney’s plans to take on Netflix with its own paid service could ultimately get a boost by the company’s planned $52.4 billion acquisition of 20th Century Fox, which was officially announced in December. However, it’s unlikely that Fox content would be available via the new service at launch, as Disney expects regulators to take as much as 18 months to clear the deal.

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • 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 [...]

  • AMERICAN IDOL - "119 (Grand Finale)"

    Ryan Seacrest to Return for 'American Idol' Season 3 on ABC

    Ryan Seacrest will return as the host of “American Idol” for the music competition’s third season on ABC. Seacrest will also continue hosting and executive producing “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” his nationally syndicated L.A. morning drive-time radio show. He also serves as co-host and executive producer on ABC’s “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” as [...]

  • Nicole Scherzinger71st Annual Primetime Creative Arts

    Pussycat Dolls Reunion Coming Sooner Than Expected

    According to a source close to lead singer Nicole Scherzinger, the Pussycat Dolls will be reuniting sooner than previously expected — she’ll be back in the studio to record new music for the group starting today. Another source says that Scherzinger bought part of the rights to PCD from choreographer Robin Antin, who founded the [...]

  • Exclusive Preview: The Rolling Stones' 50th

    Exclusive Preview: The Rolling Stones' 50th Anniversary Edition of ‘Let It Bleed’

    A debate over which Rolling Stones album is the best can have felonious results, but this near-lifelong fan will make the case for 1969’s “Let It Bleed” — the second in the group’s grand-slam of consecutive classics that began in 1968 with “Beggars Banquet” and concluded four years later with “Exile on Main Street.” Unlike [...]

  • Halsey, Ashley Nicolette Frangipane. Singer Halsey

    Emmys: Halsey to Sing In Memoriam Tribute at Sunday's Ceremony

    Pop star Halsey has been tapped to perform during the Emmy Awards on Sunday, while comedians Adam Devine and Thomas Lennon will also contribute to the telecast. With no Emmy host this year, producers Don Mischer Prods. and Done+Dusted are relying more on presenters and other contributors to keep the show moving, Halsey, whose hits [...]

  • Bebe Rexha

    Bebe Rexha Unveils New Single from 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil'

    Elton John did it. Christina Aguilera did it. Beyoncé did it. And now Bebe Rexha did it, becoming the latest pop singer to join a Disney soundtrack. Rexha dropped the track “You Can’t Stop The Girl,” which will be featured in the upcoming Disney sequel “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.” The song, which she co-wrote, follows [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content