Disney, after having acquired the 104-year-old 21st Century Fox in March 2019, has regained its position as the supreme Hollywood movie studio in 21st century. And it has now ventured into the space of digital medium with a plan that has caused worry to the current supremo of digital space – Netflix.
The studio is set to launch a subscription VOD service by the name of Disney+ in the US on November 12, 2019.
The service, similar to Disney’s ESPN+ subscription service, will cost $6.99 per month, which is nearly half of Netflix’s standard plan of $12.99. Its annual plan will cost $69.99 per year, which comes to $5.83 per month.
The company announced the pricing, launch details and other details on Thursday at their 2019 Investor Day in California.
When the company was asked by about first subscription at $7 price point, Disney Chairman and 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.”
Disney+ will include movies and TV shows from its Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and Disney brands.The studio’s films grossed more than $ 7 billion in 2018, the brand believes that with Disney + ,the demand will automatically translate to the platform.
At its initial launch, Disney+ will include 7500 episodes of current and off-air TV shows; 25 original series and 10 original movies and specials. It will also feature 400 library movie titles; and 100 recent theatrical films release, according to Agnes Chu, senior VP of content, Disney+.
Disney+ will also feature all 30 seasons of the cult-favourite show, The Simpsons, whose exclusive rights it had acquired through the acquisition of 21st Century Fox.
It will also be an ad-free service supported only, by subscription fees. It will have a wide platform outreach, spanning web, game console, smart TVs and connected streaming devices, including Roku and PlayStation 4.
Within two years of its launch, Disney aims to have Disney+ rolled out across the world. After its launch in the US in the fourth quarter of 2019, the service will launch in Western Europe and Asia-Pacific regions by early 2020. By the end of 2020, it would have launched in Eastern Europe and Latin America.
Disney had announced plans of launching its own streaming platform back in 2017 after ending its exclusive output deal with Netflix.
All new theatrical releases form Walt Disney Studios, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel beginning from 2019 that includes, Captain Marvel, Toy Story 4, Dumbo, Avengers: Endgame, Frozen II, Aladdin, The Lion King, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and Star Wars: Episode IX will be exclusively available on Disney+.
The SVOD will also provide access to Disney’s entire film catalog within the first year of its launch. The library will include all Star Wars films, 250 hours of NatGeo content including documentary films like Free solo and Jane, episodes from Disney Channel shows and the new Phineas and Ferb film.
According to Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International business segment, Disney will at some point make a discounted bundle combining Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu.
Disney+ content will also be available to download for offline viewing in 4K format.For now, the platform will roll out alongside Hulu(in which Disney owns 60% through its acquisition of 21st Century Fox) and ESPN+ to give audiences more choice.
Robert Iger shared the first look of Disney+ on his Twitter handle.
Thrilled to share a first look at Disney+ with you! pic.twitter.com/iiqjFjaNra
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) April 11, 2019
Over the last few months, Disney announced programs for Disney+ that include:
A prequel to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story starring Diego Luna titled, The Mandalorian
Next season of Star Wars animated series: Clone Wars
New series based on Pixar’s Monster Inc: Monsters at Work
Marvel’s live-action series including one on Loki( starring Tom Hiddleston), WandaVision( Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff), The Vision( Paul Bettany), The Falcon and the Winter Soldier( Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan)
Non-fiction series: Encore!
A docu-series on chronicling Walt Disney’s 65 plus year history.
Behind the scenes documentaries on Frozen II, The Lion King, Marvel’s What If and various Pixar and Star Wars productions.