Disney unveils first look at its new streaming service

Carla Harmon
April 15, 2019

Earlier this week excited fans finally received a date and a price for Disney's upcoming streaming service, Disney+ (November 12 and $6.99 a month, respectively), as well as a sneak peek at a few exclusive shows and movies such as the "Monsters Inc."-inspired series "Monsters at Work", new "Star Wars" shows such as "The Mandalorian", and all 30 seasons of "The Simpsons".

Disney announced Thursday that its video streaming service would launch in the USA in November, spotlighting its blockbuster-making studios as it takes on powerhouse Netflix. (Netflix does have a $8.99 basic plan, but you can only watch on one screen at a time.) Customers can save by purchasing an annual plan for $69.99, or $5.83 a month.

The service will offer Disney's films and TV shows, along with the library it acquired from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox.

Disney CEO Bob Iger and other executives, including Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, unveiled new details about the streaming service during an investor presentation on Thursday.

Disney+ will combine offerings from powerhouse brands including Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars with content from Hulu and sports network ESPN. The good news is that the company has hinted it'll be available on a wide variety of devices including games consoles and streaming sticks.

Disney+ starts streaming on November 12. We don't now know when it'll come to those in Australia.

Netflix will still have a far deeper video programming lineup after spending tens of billions of dollars during the past six years on original shows such as "House of Cards", "Stranger Things" and "The Crown".

One of the most exciting announcements made today is that within the first year, Disney+ will release more than 25 original series and 10 original movies, specials, and documentaries.

At the same time, Google-owned YouTube has been steadily evolving from a global video sharing platform to an Internet-age television service. We estimate that these studios provide around 20% of Netflix's overall content measured by available hours, and closer to 40% of hours viewed on the service.

A "robust library of theatrical and television content" will be available when Disney+ first launches, but the company is promising plenty of additions in the first year.

The new entrants, with more expected, could launch a formidable challenge to Netflix, which has about 140 million paid subscribers in 190 markets, and to other services such as Amazon Prime.

If you've used Netflix you'll be familiar with how Disney+ works.

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