Skip to main content

Disney bans Netflix, Amazon vanishes from Apple: Welcome to the streaming wars

Hold on to your butts. The streaming wars are just getting started.

In what appears to be a sign of things to come, Apple and Disney seemingly fired shots across the bows of two of their biggest streaming competitors, Amazon and Netflix. And signs point to this being just the first of many moves all four companies are going to make in the quest to attract subscribers to their respective streaming services.

With Apple set to launch its Apple TV+ service November 1, the Amazon Prime Video app has conspicuously gone missing from Apple’s App Store. Reports indicate that the app began disappearing Friday, October 4, with App Store users discovering that although the app for Amazon’s streaming service is still functional on their devices, it had disappeared from the available options in the digital store for Apple devices.

The amazon prime video app is gone from the App Store? ???? @PrimeVideo pic.twitter.com/wtiyIBCI3u

— Adrian (@emoflipsan) October 4, 2019

Later on Friday, an Amazon spokesperson told Digital Trends that the app disappeared due to a “technical glitch” that has since been resolved, and that the Prime Video app is now back in the App Store — but the disappearance came at a particularly tense time in relation to a recent line-in-the-sand move by Disney.

The massive entertainment company is reportedly banning ads for industry-leading streaming service Netflix across all of its TV networks — a not-inconsequential list that includes ABC, ESPN, and other major networks. The ban on Netflix ads comes as Disney plans to launch its own Disney+ streaming service in mid-November, just a few weeks after Apple TV+ makes its debut.

If recent history has taught us anything about the streaming wars, cord-cutting TV audiences could be in for a long, annoying battle between these media titans that might do more harm than good for everyone involved.

It wasn’t that long ago when Google and Amazon had engaged in a similar feud, with Amazon’s Fire TV devices prevented from offering content from Google-owned YouTube, and the latter’s Chromecast suite of streaming devices maintaining a ban on Amazon Prime Video content. The cold war between the two tech giants spanned multiple years before they finally reached a compromise in July 2019 to allow their devices to play nice with their competitor’s content.

In the end, the winner of that war ended up being Roku — the popular creator of streaming devices that somehow managed to remain neutral throughout it all and offer the only option for streaming content from all of the available video services.

Roku still dominates the market when it comes to streaming devices — due in no small part to its ability to stay above the fray — and could end up victorious again if this cold war between Amazon, Apple, Disney, and Netflix continues. With Apple offering its own Apple TV device along with millions of iPhones, iMacs, and other devices pre-loaded with the Apple TV+ framework, and Disney able to weaponize its massive multimedia holdings, both companies are entering the streaming landscape with plenty of power before their respective streaming services launch.

Given how long it took Google and Amazon to recognize that it was better to compromise than to segment the market, we’ll see whether Apple and Disney reach a similar conclusion. It’s hard to imagine a world in which Apple TV+ and Disney+ aren’t available on Amazon’s Fire TV devices, for example, but it’s a possibility. The same could be said for Netflix vanishing from Apple devices — or Amazon Prime Video never returning, for that matter.

One thing seems certain: This streaming war is just beginning, and even if Roku emerges victorious again, we all stand to lose some entertainment options until the companies sort out their differences.

Editors' Recommendations

Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football stream bad for some, again
Dolphins-Bengals on Thursday Night Football.

Three weeks of Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video, and a third week of streaming problems, apparently. The September 29 game, which had the Miami Dolphins at the Cincinnati Bengals, was the third straight to experience any number of problems with the stream itself, according to numerous reports online.

This season is the first in which Amazon is producing the Thursday night broadcast from start to finish and not just distributing it. And just like in Weeks 2 and 3 of the NFL season, the distribution is what had issues. The Prime Video stream would go from an excellent quality to something we can only call "substandard-definition." Everything dropped to a lower resolution, from the game itself to the on-screen graphics and even some of the advertising. And just like in previous weeks, the issues would come and go.

Read more
Cut the cord: Quit cable for the best streaming services
The LG G1 Gallery Series OLED TV.

So you want to cut the cord and join the streaming revolution? There are so many on-demand streaming services available now such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and Disney+ to name a few. Add to that that the growing selection of live TV streaming services, such as Hulu Plus Live TV, Sling TV, ESPN+, and YouTube TV, as well as live HD broadcasts with an antenna. The whole thing can be rather confusing, especially when you're trying to pick the best streaming services for you. We'll walk you through everything you need to know to finally cut the cord and kick cable to the curb.

Not everyone is cut out to be a cord-cutter, though. Ditching your satellite or cable subscription and the bill it carries sounds great in theory, but it's not something you want to rush into without a bit of research. Let's go through the best methods for dropping traditional cable in favor of some of the best streaming services.
First things first: How's your internet?
The thing about internet-delivered TV is that you need a broadband connection that can keep up with the streaming lifestyle. This may seem like a foregone conclusion, but we want to make it clear that if you're going to bet your precious entertainment future on your home network, you had better have a solid internet connection. Netflix and other similar streaming video services suggest a minimum downstream speed of 5Mbps for HD streaming, but if you have inadequate home internet connection (like 5Mbps) that is not going to allow for a smooth streaming service experience, especially when you consider other devices also using the connection. You will likely experience buffering and possible crashing of the show you are streaming, especially for those with families or households streaming more than one show or movie at a time.
High-quality streaming needs higher-speed internet
Of course, if you're looking to get into the streaming big leagues to access the growing array of 4K Ultra HD streaming content available from Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, YouTube, and others, you'll want to kick up your broadband speed to at least 25Mbps. If you're only going to be downloading 4K content from sites like FandangoNow or Ultraflix -- which offer 4K content at speeds as low as 4Mbps to 10Mbps -- 25Mbps will probably suffice, but regardless of which streaming service you select, fast and reliable internet is key to a positive streaming experience.
Peak internet usage time can affect your streaming
We also recommend testing your internet speed at peak streaming hours (between 6 and 10 p.m. on weekdays) to determine if your neighborhood struggles under the strain of heavy traffic. For example, if you routinely get around 10Mbps downloads during the day, but that speed takes a dive to about 3Mbps around dinner time, you'll want to call your internet provider to see if anything can be done. Fortunately, this is an increasingly rare problem outside of rural areas, but better to check ahead.
Check your home network equipment
Don't forget to check your home network equipment. Most modern routers and modems should offer up all the speed you need, but non-gigabit equipment may not suffice for simultaneous 4K streams. Any hiccups in your experience also may be caused by weird technical issues such as improper port forwarding, wireless interference, or other random things that are tricky to track down, some of which we'll attempt to help you troubleshoot. If you're unsure about any of it, be sure to give your internet service provider a call.

Read more
Why Apple (still) shouldn’t make a streaming device for cheapskates
Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast With Google TV.

The Internet — that is folks who likely spend too much time on it — loves nothing more than to speculate about what Apple may do. Or even better, what Apple should do. The more foolish among us are sold bold as to say what Apple will do.

Today, let us be so bold. (And possibly foolish.) There has been a decent amount of scuttlebutt regarding the possibility of a low-cost Apple TV dongle. And on one hand, that makes a whole lot of sense. Apple's current TV-centric hardware, the aptly named Apple TV 4K (not to be confused with the Apple TV app, which we'll come to in a second, or the Apple TV+ streaming service, which we'll also touch on) is a fine piece of kit, as they say in the biz. It's overpowered for what it does, meaning that it streams shows and movies and the like really well, without any sort of lag or hesitation. It has just about every spec you could want. It serves as a HomeKit hub. It plays music and shows photos and allows you to seamlessly mirror your iPhone or iPad or Mac to your TV. The only problem is that it is several times more expensive than what most folks are buying these days, edging toward $200.

Read more