This Is Why Disney+ May Not Be on Amazon Fire TV At Launch
On Monday, Disney announced that they had brokered deals with several partners to distribute Disney+ once it launches on Nov. 12. These partnerships include Apple, Google, Microsoft, Roku, and Sony which would give users the ability to sign up for the highly anticipated service on Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox, and PS4 devices. Notably missing from this list was Amazon Fire TV, which is number one for OTT streaming devices, with 34 million active users. Roku comes in at a close number two with 30.5 million active users.
As it turns out, Amazon and Disney have had quite the rocky relationship over the years. According to Gizmodo, the bittersweet relationship dates back to 2014, when Amazon was repeatedly blocking Disney and Marvel titles from pre-orders, delayed shipping DVDs, or otherwise restricted sales. But Amazon wasn’t strong-arming Disney alone. The company also used similar tactics against Warner Brothers movies as well as titles from the Hachette Book Group, leaving experts speculating that the retailer was trying to put the squeeze on studios and publishers in an effort to negotiate better contract terms.
The contention continued in 2018, when reports emerged that Amazon was restricting sales of Star Wars: The Last Jedi Blu-ray discs to Prime members only. The product was listed on the website as “out of stock,” even though plenty were for sale at Target or Best Buy. The last time Amazon blocked its titles, Disney simply pointed people to these big-box retailers. Within a year, most of the recent releases in the Star Wars and Marvel universes were Prime member exclusives. It’s unclear if Amazon was trying to strong arm Disney again or its superhero-loving customers into paying for Prime memberships.
While the omission may simply be due to last-minute negotiations, it goes without saying that Disney+ needs to be available on Amazon Fire TV if they are going to be in long-term competition with the slew of other streaming services set to launch.