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Netflix and Sony Agree to Massive Deal, Shifting Movies from STARZ in 2022

Jeff Kotuby

Netflix and Sony Pictures have a new deal that will see the latter’s movies appear exclusively on the former’s platform for an 18-month window, starting in 2022. This deal replaces Netflix’s prior agreement with Starz. Future Sony blockbusters like “Morbius,” “Uncharted,” “Where the Crawdads Sing,” and “Bullet Train,” among others, will now appear on Netflix before anywhere else.

Yes, that seems to include the upcoming Spider-Man and Venom films.

Along with the major motion pictures, Netflix will also have first rights to any titles Sony might release direct-to-streaming and has committed to making films with that classification going forward. Sony’s already done this with “Greyhound,” the Tom Hanks-powered World War II film that went to Apple TV+ last year. Sony does have the option to go elsewhere if Netflix passes on a film, though, but again Netflix would have first dibs.

The New York Times reports Sony will make two to three direct-to-streaming movies a year exclusively for Netflix. Netflix is reportedly paying more than $1 billion for the five-year deal.

The deal makes sense for both sides. Netflix can rely on Sony’s films to bolster its library that is steadily losing content as more and more media houses start to pull their shows and movies from Netflix and put them on their own platforms. For Sony, a major film company that doesn’t have an affiliated subscription streaming service, it’s an opportunity to leverage Netflix’s massive subscriber base and get films in front of them.

“Sony Pictures is a great partner and we are thrilled to expand our relationship through this forward-thinking agreement,” Netflix film chief Scott Stuber said in the official announcement. “This not only allows us to bring their impressive slate of beloved film franchises and new IP to Netflix in the U.S., but it also establishes a new source of first run films for Netflix movie lovers worldwide.”

Netflix missed out on Epix and MGM’s library when they partnered with Paramount+ on an exclusive movie rights deal, and NBCUniversal is weighing pulling its licensed content from everywhere to strengthen Peacock’s library.

With the average U.S. home projected to subscribe to three streaming services by the end of the year, there’s less room for new players and more competition to nail down one of those coveted spots.

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