Disney has named its new streaming service Disney+ and revealed a release date.
In a company earnings call to shareholders and investors, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that its new over-the-top service will be called Disney+ and hopes to launch in the service, initially in the US, in “late 2019”.
It will be the home of the company’s Marvel and Star Wars content, which will screen currently in-production live-action series The Mandalorian and a revival of the much-loved Clone Wars animation. Also announced were limited series that follow Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor from Rogue One, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlett Witch.
Of course Marvel and Star Wars content won’t be the only titles to feature on Disney+. There’ll be Monsters Inc and High School Musical shows available (if that’s what piques your interest). And you can bet your bottom dollar once the 20th Century Fox acquisition has been ratified (around June 2019), Fox’s library will be there, as well as broadcast content from US streaming site Hulu (which Fox has a stake in).
Disney signalled in 2017 that it will pull content from Netflix in 2019. However, Netflix won’t be the only content provider looking over its shoulder. Sky – who were bought by Comcast after a bidding war between it and Disney – have a contract with the Walt Disney Company that expires in 2020.
In the US, Disney’s relationship with broadcasters could have an unintended effect. The Turner Network currently owns the rights to broadcast the first six Star Wars films on TV and online until 2024, which could mean the Star Wars films won’t be available when the service goes live.
Iger hopes to make both Hulu and Disney+ available internationally, but that’ll likely happen after, not alongside, the projected 2019 launch.
On a slightly different note, we wonder what the fate will be of Disney’s current bet in the streaming market, Disney Life. Launched in 2015, that service could hold a few clues as to Disney’s direction with Disney+.
By opting for an annual membership, you can save 15% as opposed to paying the monthly rate for Disney Plus. For classics like The Simpsons and Recess, alongside modern staples like Frozen 2 and The Mandalorian, it's an absolute bargain.
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