A popular streaming entertainment service having licensing issues with rightsholders? No, not Spotify: Netflix. The movies company has been growing fast in the last two years thanks to its digital offering, paying large sums to studios and producers for the rights to distribute their films to its streaming customers. Now, however, one of those key partners is pulling out. Cable network Starz will not renew its deal when it expires next February, saying that “This decision is a result of our strategy to protect the premium nature of our brand by preserving the appropriate pricing and packaging of our exclusive and highly valuable content”. The Starz deal included films from Disney and Sony Pictures, so it’s a blow for Netflix. The real problem is that Starz thinks it will get more money from its traditional cable TV partners for its content than from Netflix. It’s not quite the equivalent of (a notional example) Warner Music Group pulling out of Spotify, but it shows that it’s not just music industry rightsholders playing hardball over digital strategies. Source: GigaOm

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