Last summer, Disney announced it was ending its licensing deal with Netflix, and it would be launching its own streaming service in 2019. Variety is now reporting that hired Apple veteran Kevin Swint will be building and running the new service.
Swint will be joining BAMTech Media as the senior VP and general manager of the unnamed service, the report states. He’s no stranger to the world of content streaming: he was an early member of Walmart’s e-commerce team in the early 2000s, and helped launch its music downloads site in 2003, according to his employment history via LinkedIn. From there, he joined Apple’s iTunes team, where he helped expand the store internationally and launch its HD movies and iTunes Extras features.
In 2013, Samsung also hired Swint to lead Milk, its streaming video and music services. Those projects were ultimately failures, however: Samsung shut down Milk Video after just a year, while Milk Music shut down in 2016. Now, Swint will lead Disney’s unnamed streaming service, which will be built off of technology from BAMTech, of which Disney now owns a majority stake. That platform is one that Disney has invested heavily in with the intention of having it power a new ESPN streaming service, which is set to launch sometime this year.
While Netflix is a major player in the streaming service world, it’s been working to develop its own content as studios have increasingly invested in their own content delivery mechanisms. Once up and running, Disney will use the service for its own massive catalog, which includes its Marvel and Star Wars franchises, and soon, content from 20th Century Fox. The company will also begin developing its own exclusive content, including new live-action shows for Star Wars and Marvel, as well as High School Musical and Monsters Inc.
Update January 19th, 2018, 5:44PM ET: This post has been updated to clarify that Swint was hired by BAMTech, not Disney, to run Disney’s streaming service.