Disney signs content deal with German SVOD Pantaflix

Star Wars
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (Disney)

Disney Germany has signed a new content distribution deal with German SVOD Pantaflix that will make the studio’s films available to streaming customers in Germany and Austria.

The deal will cover Disney films from Marvel, Pixar and “Star Wars,” including availability of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on the video-on-demand platform at the same time as the DVD launch. The content will be available beginning in the first quarter of 2018 and only in Germany and Austria to start with, although Pantaflix said that other territories, as well as more deals with major studios, will follow in the coming months.

“Our aim is to become the world’s leading VOD service for the film industry. The agreement with Disney underscores this endeavor and is a crucial milestone on this journey. Not only has our business model been validated by the acquisition of a world-class partner but the cooperation is also an impressive testament to the unique Pantaflix technology and our innovative distribution and exploitation model,” said Stefan Langefeld, COO of Pantaflix, in a statement.

RELATED: Netflix CEO says Disney content not necessary for international growth

The international SVOD deal for Disney comes as the media giant is refocusing its digital strategy in the U.S. The company is planning to launch its own direct-to-consumer streaming service in 2019 and is cutting ties with Netflix around that time in order to move its films onto the new platform.

With Disney content showing up on rival SVODs in international markets, it could present somewhat of a challenge for Netflix as it looks to continue its international subscriber growth streak. But Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the company doesn’t need Disney's content to keep fueling its international growth.

During last month’s earnings interview, Hastings said that Disney is a “great brand with great content” but that Netflix only offers that content outside of the U.S. in the Netherlands, Australia and Canada.

“You can see that we’ve done very well in international without it,” Hastings said.

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