Disney+ streaming wars Netflix Stan Foxtel
(Image: Getty)

Australians will likely be paying more for TV drama and, increasingly, sport, as program makers pull their shows from streaming platforms and sell exclusively direct to consumers.

As enthusiastic adopters of subscription video on demand, Australians are an early target for this likely shift to multiple providers. In announcing the launch of its Disney+ streaming service in Australia, Disney has fired the opening shot in the local front of the streaming war between the distributors of content bundles -- like Netflix, Foxtel and Stan -- and individual production companies. Other major US companies are following Disney -- WarnerMedia later this year, and NBCUniversal in 2020. They’re all competing for subscription dollars and for that most finite of resources: users' time.

It’s a war that sets the producers against the distributors. The producers have to pivot from business-to-business sales to the more complex direct-to-consumer model.