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The Latest Battle In The Streaming Wars: Advertising

Dave Royse

Battles over advertising on and for streaming content are breaking out as media companies fight to establish themselves in the increasingly crowded new part of the entertainment industry.

Disney Vs. Netflix

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) won’t allow its TV networks, including ABC and ESPN, to carry advertising for Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) as the companies begin a streaming rivalry. Disney is set to explode onto the streaming scene with its new Disney+ service, which will immediately be a major Netflix competitor because of Disney’s huge content library.

Netflix, which spent $99 million on U.S. TV ads last year, needs that exposure to protect against Disney and other new entrants. Disney, according to WSJ, doesn't want to help Netflix lure customers, hoping viewers might instead choose Disney+, which launches Nov. 12.

Disney Vs. Amazon

Disney is also in a separate clash with Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN).

This fight involves whether Amazon’s Fire TV streaming media player will carry Disney+, according to a separate WSJ report. The Fire TV is the second most popular streaming device, behind the one from Roku Inc (NASDAQ: ROKU).

Amazon wants to sell ads on Disney apps, such as the ESPN streaming app, in exchange for carrying Disney+ and other Disney apps on the Fire device.

While Disney+ won’t have ads, the ad time available on the other Disney apps is valuable and will be a bargaining chip in talks over carrying Disney+, WSJ reported. While Disney+ doesn’t want to miss out on Fire TV viewers, Amazon doesn’t want to lose customers because it doesn’t have the Disney catalog.

Disney, Netflix and Amazon shares were all up slightly on Friday.

Related Links:

Morgan Stanley More Bullish On Disney On Expected Streaming Subscription Growth

Cowen Upgrades Disney, Bullish On Streaming Service And Movie Pipeline

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