One practice that has been prevalent on Disney over the decades was its tendency to put a number of its productions in a “vault.” This means making home video releases of individual films available at only limited intervals before putting them on moratorium. This causes past Disney movies to languish from lack of tape and disc copies in circulation, at least until the company decides to do a limited re-release.
A recent statement by Disney CEO Bob Iger will apparently turn that practice on its head, when he claimed that many – possibly all – Disney movies placed in the vault will gradually be made available on their upcoming streaming program Disney+, starting sometime after its launch.
The Disney Vault has been conceptualized as a method by the House of Mouse to control its media market and ratchet up consumer demand with every limited-time release of new films and re-release of old.
Disney fans have long soured of the practice, which eventually extended to the matter of digital distribution via online streaming. With Disney+ as an exclusive platform, the company sees merit in releasing their vaulted media there, the same way they’ve removed their media from other streamers turned competition like Netflix.
News of Iger’s vision for offloading the Disney vault on Disney+ received positive reactions from fans on social media as well as investors. Doubled with the promise that a Disney+ subscription will cost less than for Netflix, it’s no wonder that people are getting excited.
Not everyone is raring to jump on Disney+ yet though. Others remain cautious until the platform finally launches. And regarding the matter about opening the company’s media vault, they’ll wait for an acid test in the form of, perhaps, releasing the 1941 live-action-animated movie “Song of the South,” notorious for past accusations of depicted racism.
A possible launch date for the streaming service is being anticipated with Disney’s investor day event this coming April 11.