It looks like the Disney Vault is dead. For years, Disney relied on limited-time releases of its films on DVD and Blu-ray to encourage sales. The strategy worked. Consumers snapped up the titles to build out their home video collections. But in more recent years, DVDs have given way to streaming. For Disney, that’s an opportunity to resell its movie library all over again — this time, by way of subscription. At a shareholder meeting this week, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the company’s forthcoming Disney+ streaming service would soon include the “entire Disney motion picture library.”
He clarified that this meant it would house the movies that were previously locked up in the Disney Vault, Polygon reported on Thursday, following the meeting.
“The service, which I mentioned earlier is going to launch later in the year, is going to combine what we call library product, movies, and television, with a lot of original product as well, movies and television. And at some point fairly soon after launch it will house the entire Disney motion picture library, so the movies that you speak of that traditionally have been kept in a vault and brought out basically every few years will be on the service,” said Iger. “And then, of course, we’re producing a number of original movies and original television shows as well that will be Disney-branded.”
There are, of course, movies that aren’t in the “Vault” — they’re no longer being released, period. But most people aren’t worried about whether or not they’ll gain access to Disney’s full historical archives — they’re interested in Disney’s classics as well as its newer films, and its Star Wars, Pixar and Marvel movies. In addition, Disney promises original programming will come to its streaming service, which will make it more attractive to consumers. It will even feature select non-Disney content at launch, to fill out its catalog.
Iger additionally noted that new films would arrive on Disney+ within a year of their release to theaters, and that films Disney is releasing this year — like Captain Marvel — will be included on the service, as well.
Disney+ will launch later this year, Iger also confirmed. But no exact date has been announced.