The freshest movies on Netflix Watch Instantly come through Starz Play, an arrangement where Starz sells Netflix their licenses to movies. As predicted, studios are playing hardball, and Disney movies could be the first to poof from Netflix streaming.
Disney wants a lot more money from people who watch Starz online - like through Netflix - and if things go badly, it could mean no more Disney or Dreamworks movies for Netflix streaming, according to Bloomberg.
It's going to be a rough patch for Netflix and its ambitious plans for streaming, which is now obviously the focus of its business. (Why else would give up a whole month for new releases from Warner Bros in exchange for better streaming rights? And notice the switched tab arrangement on the Netflix homepage, putting Watch Instantly first.) Expect these battles of streaming rights to repeat themselves with basically every major studio, and expect them to get uglier. Nobody's conquered internet video, at least not the way iTunes wrapped its arms around digital music, but Netflix is, in many ways, damn near the closest, a fact not lost on studios. They're not going to make it any easier. [Bloomberg]