That part of the deal -- which doesn't kick in until 2016 -- means that Netflix can show those titles as soon as they’re "available for anyone to watch in the first pay window, not just those with video on demand."
All of Netflix's platforms -- including mobile and desktop -- will support viewing. The deal includes a provision for separate "high-profile" direct-to-video releases (such as "Cinderella III") to stream from Netflix beginning in 2013.
The delay for the highest-profile portion of the deal comes due to Netflix's current contract with Starz, which runs through 2015. Starz currently distributes Disney films, but this new deal cuts out the middleman.
Netflix's deal with Disney places it in an enviable position. Traditionally, the timeline for a new film is as follows (with of course, some modification for individual films):
- Theatrical release
- 1 week later - airlines and hotels
- 3 - 4 months later – DVD/Blu-ray
- 4 - 5 months later – rental
- 4.5 - 6 months later –Pay-Per-View
- 6 - 7 months later – first pay window (cable, VOD, and Netflix in 2016 for Disney films)
- 1 year later – second pay window (traditionally, this has been Netflix and other streaming services)
- Eventually - regular TV