After extensive wrangling over the advertising terms for Disney apps, Disney and Amazon have inked a distribution deal enabling the Disney+ SVOD, launching on Nov. 12, to be available on Amazon Fire TV devices.
Disney also announced that its FX channel will begin streaming from Disney's Hulu starting in March 2020, and will produce exclusive content for Hulu. In line with Disney's focus on Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ -- which are being offered as a $12.9-per-month bundle -- the FX+ streaming service was shut down in late August.
Disney+ will be accessible on Fire TV streaming devices, Fire TV Edition smart TVs and compatible Fire tablets, and the service’s content will be included in Fire TV’s universal search feature.
Further, Disney will offer Fire TV and Fire Tablet users a seven-day free trial of Disney+.
Amazon Fire users will be able to open Disney+ via a voice command to the built-in Alexa capability in the Alexa voice remote, Echo or Fire TV Cube.
The two companies had been arguing over the terms for carrying Disney’s apps on the Fire TV devices since at least early October, when The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon was pressing for the right to sell a substantial percentage of the ad space on Disney’s apps.
If unresolved, the impasse could have resulted in the removal of Disney’s apps, including those for the Disney Channel, ABC and ESPN, from Fire TV, the second-largest streaming TV app distributor, after Roku.
As of late yesterday, WSJ was reporting that it wasn’t clear whether Disney had agreed to Amazon’s terms to clinch a deal.
During Thursday’s Q3 earnings call, CEO Bob Iger announced that Disney also has distribution deals with Samsung, Apple, LG, Microsoft and Google, and that Disney + will debut in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Spain on March 31, 2020.
The service is launching in Canada and the Netherlands, as well as in the U.S., on November 12, and in Australia and New Zealand on November 19.
Iger also announced that the full FX library will be transferred to Hulu, and that current FX shows will be accessible on Hulu within hours after they debut on FX.
The exclusive programming that FX will produce for Hulu starting next year will include a series called "The Old Man" and limited series including “Devs,” “Mrs. America” and “A Teacher."