Disney sparring with Amazon over Fire TV Disney+ availability; blocks Netflix ads on its networks 

Disney and Amazon are reportedly at an impasse over availability of the former’s soon-to-launch streaming app on Fire TV. 

According to sources familiar with the matter cited by the Wall Street Journal, the companies are currently sparring over ad space in Disney apps, with Amazon wanting to secure “a significant percentage” of ads on Disney’s other apps – including ABC, ESPN and the Disney Channel. The report suggests that the current talks could lead to Disney pulling down those other apps as well. 

While Disney+ is being offered as an ad-free subscription-based service, Amazon’s attempt to grab the ad space on the other apps has had a detrimental effect on discussions over offering Disney+ on Fire TV.

The newspaper reports that Amazon is pushing for greater revenues outside of its AWS cloud services. It said that Fire TV initially launched allowing “a number of media companies to have apps on its platform without sharing any advertising revenue,” but that Amazon has, of late, “been tightening its proposed terms in discussions with certain programmers”.

This report would seem to make sense of the conspicuous absence of Fire devices in Disney+’s platform announcement. The company confirmed in August that it had secured distribution agreements for Apple devices, Google’s Chromecast and Android devices, games consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and Roku devices. 

Despite this current situation, the Journal’s sources are optimistic that Amazon and Disney could come to an agreement ahead of Disney+’s November 12 launch to provide availability on over 37 million Fire TV devices.

A separate report from the paper also claims that Disney is banning Netflix advertising across all of its entertainment TV networks – save for ESPN.

The report says that Disney failed to see the relationship as mutually beneficial. The logic here is that Disney does not feel like it should allow Netflix to advertise its content on Disney platforms if Disney is not allowed to do the same on Netflix’s.

Speaking to The Verge, a Disney Spokesperson justified the decision, saying: “The direct-to-consumer business has evolved, with many more entrants looking to advertise in traditional television, and across our portfolio of networks. While the initial decision was strictly advertising based, we reevaluated our strategy to reflect the comprehensive business relationships we have with many of these companies, as direct-to-consumer is one element.”

It’s worth noting that Disney’s channels are still advertising other OTT platforms such as Apple TV+. 

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