The Disney ‘vault’ is officially closed.
CEO Bob Iger confirmed during the company’s annual shareholder meeting this week that the Disney vault is no more.
But before 90s kids everywhere burst into tears, fans can still access all their childhood favourites.
You’ll just have to fork out for a subscription to the company’s latest streaming service, Disney+.
WHAT IS THE DISNEY VAULT?
For anyone who was alive before streaming services took off, most Disney classics were enjoyed via chunky VHS tapes. Yes, we’ve included a picture for reference. Because yes, it really has been that long.
In a stroke of creative genius, Disney’s marketing department conjured the idea of the ‘Disney vault’ to boost sales.
The idea was that certain Disney films would only be available for a limited time before they’d be placed in the “vault”, safely stored away for a few years before being re-released again for purchase (temporarily, of course).
The marketing ploy became a longstanding tradition and Disney-lovers often flocked to buy their favourites once they were freshly released.
DISNEY GOES DIGITAL
Home movies have drastically changed in the 40 years since Disney was founded. So naturally, the worldwide entertainment company has had to change with it.
In order to cater to the demand to stream Disney content, the company announced in 2017 that it would be diving headfirst into the streaming world with its own dedicated platform: Disney+.
While there is still no confirmed release date for the service, it’s already being pegged as a major rival for streaming’s big fish: Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.
In order to gain an edge over their well-established rivals, Disney’s betting hard on exclusivity.
According to The Verge, CEO Bob Iger told shareholders that Disney+ “at some point fairly soon after launch” will carry films that “traditionally have been kept in a ‘vault’ and brought out basically every few years”.
The policy change comes after the brand took a huge gamble, taking a $150 million hit to remove its films from Netflix.
But it may pay off in the long run, once Disney movies won’t be available to stream anywhere but Disney+ — that includes YouTube, Netflix, or even Disney’s TV channels.
Based on the reactions of diehard Disney fans on social media, Disney seems to have made the right choice.
Given the company’s promise that Disney+ will cost “substantially less” than Netflix, this seems like a sure-fire way to hook more subscribers that Netflix’s 139 million. And fast.
Fans could be paying less than $13.99 per month (the average Netflix spend) to tap into Disney’s entire motion picture library, including movies traditionally kept in the vault.