Disney has confirmed that its upcoming streaming video service, Disney+, will include the entire library of the company’s classic films -- all part of the "Disney Vault.”
The Disney Vault was a centerpiece of Disney’s home-entertainment business for decades, as VHS tapes of classic movies (and later DVDs and Blu-Rays) would be released from the vault for a short period of time, after which it would be removed from stores.
In an on-demand media world dominated by Netflix and YouTube, holding back classic content to boost Blu-Ray sales no longer makes sense.
Disney CEO Bob Iger told shareholders at the company’s annual shareholder meeting that the films from the vault will be joining the Disney+ streaming service.
“At some point, fairly soon after launch, [Disney+] will house the entire Disney motion pictures library,” Iger said. “Movies that have traditionally been kept in a vault, and have been brought out basically every few years, will be on the service.”
That is a big deal for Disney film fans, as it means dozens of classic films will be immediately available for viewing and re-viewing. The vault includes 34 titles, including “The Lion King” and “Beauty And The Beast.”
That content is one of the reasons JPMorgan analyst Alexia Quadrani in a research note this week estimated Disney+ could draw as many as 160 million global subscribers, including 45 million in the U.S.
"Our confidence in the resilient success of Disney+ comes from the company's unmatched brand recognition, extensive premium content and unparalleled ecosystem to market the service,” Quadrani wrote, according to CNBC.
Disney+ will complement the vault films with a slate of original TV shows and movies, as well as its entire theatrical slate moving forward.
How big is the opportunity for Disney? With Netflix's 140 million subscribers, Disney may be positioned to become one of the biggest players in streaming video.