Disney CEO resigns from Apple board as streaming war heats up

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With Apple TV+ ready to compete against Disney+, Bob Iger resigns from the Apple board.
With Apple TV+ ready to compete against Disney+, Bob Iger resigns from the Apple board.
Photo: Josh Hallett/Flickr CC

The Apple board of directors just lost a powerful member: Disney CEO Bob Iger. His resignation, revealed by an Apple filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, comes as Disney and Apple prepare to launch competing streaming services.

Meanwhile, the new Disney offering garnered a rave early review that called it “more addictive than heroin.”

Iger became Disney’s CEO in 2005 and joined the Apple board in 2011 a month after Steve Jobs’ death. Despite the looming competition between the two companies, Iger said in April that he would remain on the Apple board.

Bob Iger resigns from Apple board

Things didn’t quite work out that way. Iger resigned from the Apple board on September 10, according to Apple’s SEC filing today. That’s the same day Cupertino revealed the launch date and pricing for Apple TV+, its upcoming streaming video service. Apple said during Tuesday’s “By Innovation Only” event that Apple TV+ will launch on November 1 with a $4.99 monthly subscription fee.

That surprisingly low price tag comes as a shot across the bow to market leader Netflix as well as Disney+, which launches in the United States on November 12 at $6.99 per month. Plus, Cupertino sweetened the deal considerably. The company will give a free year of Apple TV+ to anybody who buys a qualifying Apple device.

Still, Apple faces intense competition from Disney+. Disney’s streaming service brings with it an incredibly strong catalog. In addition to Disney movies and TV shows, Disney+ will come out of the gate with the Star Wars and Marvel Studios movies on board.

Apple reportedly spent $6 billion on original programming for Apple TV+ already. And, while the company landed big names like Jennifer Aniston and Jason Momoa to star in its original series, Apple must build its reputation for storytelling from the ground up.

Apple TV+ likely will launch with an extremely small catalog of shows and movies. Competing with Netflix’s massive catalog of original and licensed video, as well as Disney+, won’t prove easy.

Disney+ earns rave reviews

Disney’s undeniably strong catalog already earned it a strong review from The Netherlands, where Disney+ started a free trial. A reporter for Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf called the new service “more addictive than heroin.”

That’s not hard to imagine, considering Disney+ will come packed with blockbuster movies and TV series from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The service even includes extras — some that didn’t even make it onto Blu-ray releases, according to BGR.

The website quoted a user from The Netherlands who posted about the trial in a Facebook group, raving about such things as Jon Favreau’s highly anticipated Star Wars series The Mandalorian.

“So far Disney Plus does not disappoint; great content, many users at the same time and some movies are even in UHD with a Dolby Atmos audiotrack,” the user reportedly wrote. “And I love all the extra’s such as deleted scenes (e.g. in our country Rogue One a Star Wars Story wasn’t even released in a 4K format-only Bluray — whereas Disney + NL offers this.”

Via: Neil Cybart and BGR