Disney is ditching Netflix in 2019 to launch its own streaming service

Bad news if you were just get used to all of the new Disney stuff hitting Netflix: that deal is on the way out.

Disney has just announced plans to end its distribution agreement with Netflix in 2019, instead opting to launch its own streaming service sometime during that same year.

The announcement came as part of some takeover news: Disney is paying $1.48 billion to acquire another 42 percentage of BAMTech a company that exists under the Major League Baseball umbrella in addition to the 33 percentage stake it bought for$ 1 billion last year. This dedicates Disney the majority controlling stake of BAMTech.

Meanwhile, Disney also will be launching a separate ESPN-branded streaming service early next year. Itll be wrap into a rebuilt version of the ESPN app, and host creeks from the MLB, NHL, MLS, and various college sports networks.

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Club Penguin is shutting down

Club Penguin, the Disney-owned social network for kids, announced this morning its shutting down. In its place, the company will launch a new product for mobile, Club Penguin Island, which has been in development over the past several years. Club Penguin Island will launch in March, while the Club Penguin game on the desktop and mobile devices will shut down on March 29, 2017.

The closure is a bittersweet milestone for a certain generation those who grew up with computers and the internet, and learned to socialize online through Club Penguins virtual world.

Startedin 2005, the site featured avatars of animated penguins (hence the name), that lived in its onlineworld. Users could play games, chat, and build their home with virtual accessories. The company sold to Disney in 2007, in a deal that then valued the business at $700 million. At the time, it had over 12 million users. By 2013, that number had grown to 200 million, though theres some indication that visitors have been on the decline.

According to one traffic measurement source, SimilarWeb, the site saw 5.6million visitors as of December, 2016 and that figure was down from 7.4 million in July, 2016. The U.S., however, was still the primarily source of that traffic, driving over a quarter of the total visits to the site.

Meanwhile, on mobile, the iOS app had dropped to #595 in the Games category, and had consistently been ranked in the 400s or 500s, with an occasional bounce into the 300s, over the past couple of years, as well.

The problem for Club Penguin, which was aimed at younger children and tweens primarily, is that there are nowso many apps vying for kids attention. Even if theyre not lying about their age in order to join sites like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, there are other places for kids to engage online, including YouTube, Nickelodeons properties, PBS Kids, and elsewhere. Plus, there are app stores filled with games to divert kidsattention.

The new site, Club Penguin Island, will look to recapture kids interest, with a modern-day take on the original virtual world,but ones that focused on mobile. Though related, Club Penguin Island is its own, standalone app players cant bring items or coins from the old site to the new one. Their Club Penguin membership will also not transfer over to the new property.

Club Penguin was a significant online property, which led to the development of fan sites, wikis, and other online communities for its players over the years. However, it was more recently in the news for being home to an online anti-Trump protest from elementary schoolers a notable reminder that todays political upheaval is being felt even by the youngest in the U.S.

Club Penguin Island is currently offering pre-registration, so kids can reserve their new penguins name in advance of its March release.

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Disney is opening an immersive Star Wars Hotel where each guest gets a storyline

AHHHHHHH. Disney just announced something thats potentially so damned cool that I barely required complete sentences here: Immersive. Star Wars. Hotel.

Details are still super sunlight, but Disney simply dropped this bombshell in the middle of its D23 expo down in Los Angeles.

Heres what we know in so far 😛 TAGEND

All of the employees( or cast members, in Disney Park lingo) will be in costume and in character

Each guest will get a storyline, which Disney specifically tells will touch every single minute of your day

Its meant to take place on a space ship; windows will only show space.

Netflix in talks to retain Marvel and Star Wars movies after 2019

Netflix is still in active talks with Marvel over potentially retaining streaming rights to Marvel and Star Wars movies after 2019, which is the date Disney has defined for when itll remove Disney and Pixar movies from the subscription service in favor of its own in-house Disney streaming offering.

We already knew the fate of Disneys Marvel co-production TV indicates, including Daredevil, The Punisher, Jessica Jones, Iron fist, Luke Cage and The Defenders was not subject to the new arranging Disney announced earlier this week. These ongoing talks around feature-length Marvel and Lucasfilm-made movies disclose those could also still have a future at Neftlix.

When the bargain was announced earlier the coming week by Disney CEO Bog Iger, the fate of the Marvel and Star Wars films wasnt yet fixed. Netflix told Reuters on Friday that active debates are going on right now to retain streaming rights beyond 2019, and it seems possible that this could end up being the result depending on Disneys aims with franchises housed under the Marvel and Star Wars brands.

While it sounds far away from something determined, it could be that Disneys own streaming service is focused more on entertainment for households and children, while the more mature reach of the Star Wars and Marvel films end up being better suited for a distribution platform with a broader audience. Its also very possible that Disneys still assessing how it would position Marvel and Star Wars dedicated subscription services, something its been rumored to have mulled in the past.

Whatever the outcome, Netflix isnt slacking on its alternative content alternatives: The company continues to invest in and make plenty of original content, and will only be ramping up those efforts in the near future.

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