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How a Starz Ad Snuck Onto Disney+

DATE POSTED:November 18, 2019

Disney's (NYSE: DIS) Disney+ represents the biggest change in the streaming video landscape since Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) invented this space in 2007. After years of Netflix demonstrating the value of owning both the streaming platform and streaming content, Disney decided to take that idea to its logical extreme: With a huge stable of media properties, Disney resolved to start its own streaming service and compete with Netflix. A massive acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox made Disney's big arrival in streaming all but inevitable, and the fruit of this strategy, Disney+, arrived on Nov. 12.

Media companies have joined tech companies in the streaming space. Disney+ is a subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service like Netflix. Like Netflix (and unlike Disney's other streaming service, Hulu), Disney+ is ad-free by default -- or, at least, that's how it's supposed to be. But there are exceptions to Disney's ad-free promise, including an advertisement for Starz on a post-signup screen within Disney+'s Android and in-browser apps. The unexpected ad is a result of negotiations between Starz and Disney, and it's an instructive reminder of how important content is to Disney's strategy.

Image source: Getty Images.

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