Disney Unveils New Streaming Service to Debut Late This Year

By Margaret Wollensak

The Walt Disney Company (WDC) finally announced the launch date for its upcoming standalone streaming service Disney Plus, amid other details about the service outlined in its Investor Day 2019 livestream on April 11 (PDF).

Disney Plus will launch in the United States on Nov. 12 for $6.99 a month—around half of Netflix’s standard $12.99/month plan—or $69.99 when paid yearly. The company plans to expand Disney Plus to major regions around the world in the two years following its U.S. debut.

The company is hoping to have 60 to 90 million subscribers by the end of 2024, two-thirds of which would be from outside the United States, Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said. She also said that the $6.99 price is an “initial” price, and the fees may rise over time.

When asked why the price was set at $6.99, Disney CEO Bob Iger said, “This is our first serious foray in this space, and we want to reach as many people as possible with it.”

The ad-free video streaming service will be available on a number of devices, including phones, computers, smart TVs, streaming media players, and gaming consoles, the company announced, and Roku and Playstation 4 will be included.

They also announced that all its content would be downloadable for offline viewing.

Disney already owns streaming services as the majority stakeholder of sports ESPN+ channel and Hulu, thanks to its acquisition of 20th Century Fox, as well as Hotstar, an Indian streaming platform owned by WDC.

Old and New Content

Content will be pulled from the company’s iconic entertainment brands, with dedicated pages for Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, The Walt Disney Company announced.

Disney Plus will launch with at least 25 new original series, 10 new movies and specials, 100 recent films, 400 films from its library, and 7,500 episodes of current and off-air TV shows, according to Agnes Chu, senior vice president of Content at Disney Plus.

Some of the titles announced at the livestream include a number of series centered on Marvel Cinematic Universe characters Loki, Scarlet Witch and The Vision, and Falcon and The Winter Soldier; “The Mandalorian,” the first scripted live-action Star Wars series; and a live-action “Lady and the Tramp.”

Disney Plus also announced that all 30 seasons of “The Simpsons” would be available on the service from day one, which Disney obtained through its acquisition of 20th Century Fox. Audiences will also have access to family-friendly Fox titles including “The Sound of Music,” “The Princess Bride,” and “Malcom in the Middle,” among other titles.

Other new original titles announced for Disney Plus:

  • “Marvel’s What If…?” an animated series from Marvel Studios, where each episode explores a pivotal moment from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and turns it on its head
  • “Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2,” documentary showing the behind the scenes footage of the upcoming “Frozen” sequel
  • “Forky Asks a Question,” a “Toy Story” based short series
  • “Lamp Life,”a Pixar short
  • “The Wold According to Jeff Goldblum,” a documentary series featuring actor Jeff Goldblum
  • “Magic of the Animal Kingdom,” a documentary series showing behind the scenes work at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot’s SeaBase aquarium
  • “The Phineas and Ferb Movie” (working title), an animated film featuring many of the original voice cast

Previously announced originals include a new season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”; “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”; the untitled Cassian Andor series starring Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk; “Monsters at Work,” and “Diary of a Female President,” as well as live-action films “Noelle,” “Togo,” Timmy Failure” and “Stargirl.”

Previously announced non-fiction series include “Be Our Chef,” “Cinema Relics: Iconic Art of the Movies (working title),” “Earthkeepers (working title),” “Encore!,” the untitled Walt Disney Imagineering documentary series, “Marvel’s 616,” “Marvel’s Hero Project,” “(Re)Connect,” “Rogue Trip,” and “Shop Class (working title).”

Impact on Netflix Programming

Disney content will mostly disappear from Netflix by late 2019.

Netflix was the first, and exclusive, streaming platform to watch Disney content on, a deal which began in 2016. However, in 2017, Disney chose not to renew the agreement, which included content up to 2018, as it ramped up its own efforts towards launching its own subscription service.

This means Disney’s 2019 movies and onwards will not appear on Netflix, but will likely appear on the upcoming Disney Plus. Disney has ten movies slated for a 2019 release, including “Captain Marvel” and “Dumbo,” which have already been released.

The film “Mary Poppin’s Returns,” which was released in December 2018, would be the final Disney movie to potentially be streamed on Netflix.

According to Variety, fans of Netflix Marvel series—”Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” “Iron Fist,” and “Daredevil”—won’t see the series on Disney Plus for at least a couple year. Variety reported that the deal between Marvel and Netflix for the four shows included “a clause preventing the characters from appearing in any non-Netflix series or film for at least two years after cancellation.”

From The Epoch Times