Disney’s Streaming Service to Launch in North America in November
Disney+, Disney’s new streaming service, will launch domestically on Nov. 12. Content will include original series such as High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, original films such as Stargirl, and recent releases such as Captain Marvel.
The service will be ad-free and subscription-based at a cost of $6.99 a month. By contrast, Netflix’s streaming service starts at $8.99 a month. Those who wish to save more money can also pay $69.99 up front for the year, which averages out to about $5.83 a month.
Walt Disney Company CEO Robert Iger announced in March that the service would eventually house Disney’s entire film library, yet this claim has been called into question. Song of the South, a 1946 live action/animation hybrid based on the Uncle Remus stories, has long been criticized as racist and has never been released on home video in the United States. Disney has not announced its inclusion in the streaming library.
Yet, the service will include well-known titles such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Bambi. These titles, along with many others, were previously kept in a cycle of being made available on home video for a limited time and then being put in the “Disney Vault,” only to be released again about seven years later. The streaming service could signal the end of the “Disney Vault.”
Disney is also looking to offer a discounted bundle for those who subscribe to two or more of its streaming services, the other two being ESPN+ and Hulu. Disney became a major Hulu shareholder after it acquired 21st Century Fox.
The service will only feature content that fits the Disney brand. Any R-rated content, some of which may have entered the Disney library through its purchase of 21st Century Fox, will be on Hulu.
Disney+ will stretch across Europe from late 2019 to early 2020. The launch in Asia-Pacific will occur between fall 2019 and fall 2020, and Latin America will have access in fall 2020. The service will go global by the end of 2021.
Disney expects between 60 million and 90 million subscribers by 2024. It is unknown just how much Disney’s streaming service will affect Netflix, but if Disney+ did reach 90 million subscribers by 2024 and Netflix’s number of subscribers were to stay the same between now and then, Disney would still have 40 million subscribers less than its competitor, which had 139 million subscribers at the end of 2018.