The Walt Disney Company has finally unveiled its much-anticipated video streaming service, Disney+.
Unsurprisingly, it relies heavily on the massive brands at Disney’s disposal, with Frozen, Star Wars and Toy Story all taking center stage in the $6.99/mo. service.
Unveiled during Disney’s Investor Day 2019, first impressions are that Disney+ is shaping up as a formidable challenger in a crowded space of digital content creators and distributors — especially as Disney has already said it will pull its content from Netflix and HBO to bolster its own service.
What’s going to be available on Disney+? Where can I watch these movies, TV shows and more?
In its first year, Disney+ won’t be light on original programming.
The streaming service will feature over 25 original series as well as 10 original films, documentaries and specials. From that pool, Disney’s tapping into global media franchises like Frozen, Star Wars and Toy Story. Some of the original programming includes completely new projects as well.
The original programming will be developed in-house by Disney Television Animation, Marvel Studios, National Geographic, Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios.
Disney+ also fills out its catalog with legacy programming. Just about everything from the company’s past in terms of movies and TV shows will exist on the service, but 21st Century Fox’s backlog also contributes.
The deal to acquire 21st Century Fox ushers in The Simpsons, which has nearly 700 episodes across 30 seasons. In total, the acquired brand’s catalog bolsters Disney+ with over 7,500 episodes from TV shows and around 500 movies.
Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO, said this about the launch:
“We are confident that the combination of our unrivaled storytelling, beloved brands, iconic franchises, and cutting-edge technology will make Disney+ a standout. “
Over time, the movies and TV shows released in traditional forms will also be added. Disney seeks to transition its post-release distribution model away from relying on third-party partners like Netflix and HBO. Following releases, Disney+ should gain all Disney-owned content.
The list of supported platforms wasn’t shared, but Disney+ should be on a standard array of connected devices — Android, iOS, Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, smart TVs and web.
Could Disney+ replace my cable or satellite TV service?
Disney+ dishes out on-demand content, not live content. So you won’t find live channels to watch. Instead, everything in the library can be cued to watch at any time and on any device. It’s unclear why Disney+ skips out on live content, but that might be due to its carriage agreements with cable and satellite TV providers.
How much will Disney+ cost? When can I sign up for it?
On November 12, anyone located in the U.S. will be able to sign up for a subscription. It’ll cost just $6.99 per month, and that makes Disney+ one of the most affordable streaming services around.
The budget-friendly price was intentional as Disney wants to attract a wide group of customers from the start. Of course, that price might be subject to increases later on.
Disney+ won’t stay exclusive in the U.S., though. It’ll expand over the coming months, and Disney expects availability in all major regions of the world within the next two years.
Eventually, the company might sell a single subscription that includes Disney+ as well as two other services. The all-in-one bundle would also unlock ESPN+ and Hulu. ESPN+ was introduced in 2018, gathering sports content from around the world into a digital subscription. Hulu, meanwhile, has been around for over a decade and offers a diverse catalog of entertainment. Both are owned and operated by Disney, which allows the company to easily pair Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu in a discounted trio.
We’ll let you know how Disney+ develops in the coming months as Disney shares more details as the launch date approaches.