It has been a busy news week for the pioneer TV and movie streaming service. Not all of it was good and investors definitely noticed. Netflix shares took a hit, starting the week at around $181 (U.S.) and closing at $171.40 on Friday. While the company that took out Blockbuster isn't expected to be down for long, this week presented a major future competitor. Here's a roundup of everything that happened with Netflix this week.
Canadian prices were hiked
As of Thursday, Netflix Canada just got a little pricier. The standard plan that allows two screens to stream at a time will go up one dollar to $10.99 (Canadian), and the basic plan with a one-screen limit will go up a dollar to $8.99. The premium plan, with four household screens and high-definition 4K content, jumps up two dollars to $13.99. The changes are effective for new members immediately while existing members will be notified by e-mail in the coming weeks. While Canadian users haven't seen a price hike since 2015, Netflix U.S. raised prices in 2016. The move led to a boost in profit which carried well into the first half of 2017.
Disney says goodbye
Disney is ending its distribution agreement with Netflix for new releases which will start with films set to come out in 2019, including Toy Story 4 and the Frozen sequel. Instead, Disney will be launching its own streaming platform by then. In the meantime, Disney will launch an ESPN streaming service next year after agreeing to buy majority ownership of MLB Advanced Media's spin-off media company, BAMTech. After the announcement on Tuesday, Netflix shares dropped more than 4 per cent. But fear not, the loss isn't expected to affect international markets, which means Canadians will likely still have access to Disney content on Netflix after the 2019 deal expires. Also, Netflix is still in active talks for retaining rights to Disney franchises Lucasfilms and Marvel beyond 2019.
Original content from Millarworld on the way
In its first acquisition, Netflix agreed to buy graphic-novelist Mark Millar's company Millarworld and any of the new superhero shows and movies that will come from it. Mr. Millar, the creator behind Kick-Ass, Wanted and Kingsman: The Secret Service, will be bringing several comic-book franchises with him, including Huck, Starlight and Supercrooks.