Disney has announced plans to roll out its new streaming service in November. Executives announced that Disney+ will be available on platforms and devices made by Apple, Google, Microsoft, Sony, and Roku. Missing from that list is Amazon, with whom Disney has had an on-again-off-again slap fight for the past few years. This ongoing feud means that viewers who love Mickey Mouse and own a Fire TV are sort of screwed.
It’s unclear how or why negotiations between Amazon and Disney broke down, but the beef between the two companies is well documented. Amazon has historically been the instigator, too. As far back as 2014, the online retailer has repeatedly blocked Disney and Marvel titles from pre-orders, delayed shipping DVDs, or otherwise restricted sales. Around the same time, Amazon used similar tactics against Warner Brothers movies as well as titles from the Hachette Book Group. Experts suspected that Amazon was trying to put the squeeze on studios and publishers in an effort to negotiate better contract terms.
Amazon kept doing this to Disney, though. In 2018, reports emerged that Amazon was restricting sales of Star Wars: The Last Jedi Blu-ray discs to Prime members only. For a time, that product was listed as “out of stock,” although plenty were for sale at brick-and-mortar retailers. The last time Amazon blocked its titles, Disney simply pointed people to these big-box retailers. Within a year, most of the recent releases in the Star Wars and Marvel universes were Prime member exclusives. It makes you wonder if Amazon was trying to bully Disney again or simply bully its own superhero-loving customers into paying for Prime memberships.
Who knows what to make of Disney boxing Amazon out of the Disney Plus launch. There’s a chance that it’s yet another contract dispute that’s left Fire TV customers without full access to Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic content. (Those are the big five Disney brands included in the service.) It’s also entirely possible that Disney and Amazon will sort all this out before November. Of course, it's a bit of a moot point for us here, since Disney hasn't mentioned the UK in its initial rollout plans, but hopefully UK viewers will be included in Disney+ after the service launches.
Sorry, Fire TV. You’re apparently in time out.
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