1. There’s a FOX in the House of Mouse
In the age of mega-mergers and massive media empires, Disney is taking its omnipresence to new heights with the announced deal to acquire a large portion of 21st Century Fox. This massive $52.4 billion-dollar deal will make Disney parent to Fox’s film studio and cable channels, which include the Marvel franchise, National Geographic networks, Fox’s local sports channels, among a number of other valuable assets. However, the most apparent game changer of this deal is Disney’s new leadership position in Hulu. Fox’s 30 percent stake in Hulu will be added to Disney’s existing 30 percent stake, giving Disney majority control of the streaming service. The takeover will give it a boost against competitors with video services of their own like Apple and Amazon, and most of all, Netflix. In the land of online video, Hulu will most likely become the most dangerous weapon against Netflix. Disney could leverage this new asset to strong-arm NBCUniversal (another Hulu partner) regarding licensing programming to Netflix… meaning FOX and NBC could join Disney in abandoning Netflix. With this acquisition, Disney is setting the foundation and strengthening the position for its own disruptive over-the-top streaming service said to launch in 2019. It is not an exaggeration to say that this consolidation could give Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and Apple’s Entertainment strategies a major competitor, and make Disney a one-stop-shop for cross-channel advertising.