Recently, several movies left Disney+ including Home Alone, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and The Sandlot, amongst others. This didn't sit too well with quite a few subscribers, as the movies represent a sizable chunk of desirable content. Now, the company has offered an explanation as to why certain titles have disappeared from the service.
Per a new report, a Disney+ spokesperson stated that "a small number of titles had left the platform over issues relating to legacy deals." Basically, for years, long before Disney ever expected to get into the streaming game, they would cut various deals to license content with cable companies, other streaming services or other outlets that were willing to pay. It represented a big part of the studio's business. But when Disney+ launched, many of those deals were still in place. As such, it's been difficult to get the rights to certain titles.
Disney merged with Fox last year, which provided them with an even larger back catalog of titles to pull from. However, Fox also had licensing deals in place for its content, which would explain why Home Alone can't permanently live on Disney+. At least not right now. The spokesperson also promised that "all of those titles that have left will return to the service as soon as those licenses expire." That means Disney+ is poised to improve, in terms of a more robust offering of content, as time rolls on and those deals expire.
This is something that many industry insiders and astute customers expected when Disney+ launched. For many, it took them by surprise. It was even hinted at by Disney in a statement made before the streaming service launched when they explained that there would be a rotating selection of licensed titles that would hit the service each month, while Disney classics would now have a permanent home.
"There will not be a 'rotating slate' of licensed movies each month. With Disney+, beloved classics from the Disney vault will now stream in a permanent home, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King, the entire thirteen film Signature Collection, all available on day one."
It's still early days and Disney is still figuring out the streaming game. Netflix has had years to amass a content library that can help keep subscribers interested. The Mandalorian did a lot to pique interest in the beginning, but with season 1 now over, it's up to the library of content currently available to keep subscribers from jumping ship. Losing beloved movies Home Alone and The Sandlot surely didn't help matters in the short term. But this was always about the long game for Disney. And, in the long run, once all of those licensing deals expire, things will be far more simple on their end. This news comes to us via Gizmodo.