[Update: Devices + More Countries] Disney’s video streaming service brings Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and The Simpsons under the same roof for $6.99/month
Disney, the juggernaut which is synonymous with cartoons, is also the world’s most valuable media company. And, it has long the vision of becoming the top online streaming service. For almost two years, the media giant has been vocal about its plans to launch three separate services dedicated to providing family-friendly TV entertainment, sports streaming, and adult-oriented content sharing on Hulu. The sports service, called ESPN+, was launched almost a year ago and now, the second service is hatching out of the egg – well, not instantly but it is. The media giant has announced “Disney+”, its premium video-on-demand service which will be launched later this year.
— Disney (@Disney) April 11, 2019
The idea behind the new service is simple – Disney wants to eliminate mediators and reach viewers directly. Under the promised streaming service, users will have access to content such as movies or TV series from Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios, National Geographic, and other franchises for a monthly subscription of $6.99 or for $69.99 a year. It will also host all episodes under the banners of the Star Wars saga and The Simpsons. Needless to say, most of this content will be exclusive to Disney+. At its annual investor’s day, the media behemoth announced that its streaming service will go live on November 12.
Robert Iger, the chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, told CNBC that providing a direct service to the consumers is easier and more beneficial than licensing content to third-parties. He added that this is how, Disney’s original productions will have a higher value in the long term. The company grossed over $7 billion at the box office in 2018 and is confident about translating this success to Disney+.
18 of Pixar’s 22 films will be available day one on Disney+.
— David Faber (@davidfaber) April 11, 2019
On the launch day, Disney+ will host 10 original movies and 25 original series besides 400 other movies and 7,500 episodes of TV shows – both airing and off-air. The list also includes 18 of Pixar’s 22 movies. While companies like Apple, Amazon, Hulu, etc. have been grappling to grab a large chunk of the online streaming business, Disney’s biggest competitor in the market is Netflix, with 140 million paid subscribers. This is where the pricing of Disney+ will play a pivotal role considering Netflix’s cheapest plan costs $9 a month while the standard plan is available for $13 in the U.S.
Since Disney owns 60% of Hulu, through its acquisition of Fox Studios, it also plans to expand Hulu in international markets. But the service will be separate from Disney+. Meanwhile, we wait to see if Netflix’s technology-first approach will help it sail through or sink its ship as the industry prepares for Disney’s disruptive pricing and global popularity.
Update: Devices + More Countries
We’re finally learning more information about which devices and countries will get Disney+. First, Disney already mentioned Roku and PS4 would get the service, but now we know Android, Android TV, Chromecast, iOS, Apple TV, and Xbox One will also get apps. We’re glad to see support for both Android TV and Chromecast since some streaming services ignore the former.
Next up is news about which countries will have access to Disney+. In addition to the US, Disney will launch the service in Canada and the Netherlands on November 12th. Pricing will be 8.99CAD ($89.99CAD per year) and €6.99 (€69.99 per year). On November 19th, the service will launch in Australia and New Zealand as well. Pricing will be $8.99AUD per month ($89.99AUD per year) and $9.99NZD per month ($99.99NZD per year).
Lastly, in the US you will be able to get a Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+ bundle for $12.99 per month.
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