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REPORT: Disney and Amazon Going Head to Head Over Terms Regarding Disney Apps on Fire TV

Stephanie Sengwe

When Disney announced its distribution partners for Disney+ back in August, it raised eyebrows with fact that Amazon was missing from the list that included Apple, Google, Microsoft, Roku, and Sony. Well, it looks like we may have our answer, as the Wall Street Journal reported that the two conglomerates are going head-to-head behind the scenes.

According to the Journal, Amazon wants to sell “a substantial percentage of the ad space” on Disney apps, and but the media company which owns ABC, ESPN and Disney Channel, refuses. Recently, Amazon has been asking its media partners to share in ad revenue for having their apps on Fire TV, a turn from when it first launched. The company starts by proposing media partners give 40 percent of ad inventory and negotiations often bring the number down to 30 or 20 percent, the Journal reports.

Disney, on the other hand, believes it brings more than enough value to the platform and is willing to give up only 10 percent of its ad inventory. Though Disney+ won’t have ads, meetings with Amazon to have it on Fire TV have opened up doors for the companies to revisit advertising terms for other Disney apps.

As it turns out, Amazon and Disney have had quite the rocky relationship over the years. 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.

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

With Disney+ launching in a little over a month (Nov. 12), it’s not clear whether or not the two will come to a carriage agreement before then. One positive sign though, is just yesterday Disney and Prime Video, extended their deal to carry Disney shows in Latin America for another year — before the Disney+ arrive in the region.

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