By: Brandon T. McClure
Last year, Disney announced plans to launch a new Streaming service called Disney Plus or Disney+. Details at the time were sparse but things started to trickle out into the news circuit. Disney had announced plans for new programming, based on Star Wars, Monsters Inc., High School Musical and Marvel as well as making a promise that the service will be “cheaper than Netflix”.
Thursday April 11th was dubbed “Disney Investor Day 2019” by the company and they took the opportunity to drop a lot of new information for the service, including price and the release date. At the end of the very impressive presentation, Kevin Mayer, the direct to consumer chairman, announced that the service will drop on November 12, 2019 and debut at $6.99 a month.
They opened with a presentation of how the service will look on the landing page. Consumers will be able to personalize their experience by specifically choosing what brand they want to search under, either Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm or National Geographic. Disney will include the entire back catalogue of the company, as well as its newly acquired properties from 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight.
Probably the major content selling point for the service is all the new content that will be included. Disney brought out many producers and creators to talk about new content being developed strictly for the service, including Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, and Jon Favroue, creator of The Mandalorian. The Mandalorian will be the first ever Star Wars live action series and will be available when the series launches in November.
Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige took the stage to talk about the Marvel products launching on the service. Marvel is looking to have quite the year, with Captain Marvel having recently made $1 billion and Avengers: Endgame out in just a few weeks. Only a handful of the Marvel films will be available at the time of the launch but shortly after will be series’ like Falcon and Winter Soldier, a series based on the two Captain America: The Winter Soldier characters and WandaVision, a series based on the two Avengers: Age of Ultron characters. Both of the series will star the actors who played them in the feature films and the shows will have lasting impacts on the franchise, unlike the shows that Marvel Television has put out in the past.
National Geographic and Disney Channel were on hand to talk about their sections of the expansive service, including announcements of The World According to Jeff Goldblum and The Phineas and Ferb Movie respectively.
Disney+ will also be a home for films that might not find a home in a theatrical market. At CinemaCon this year, Disney made another impressive display when they showed their entire 2019 theatrical release slate, needless to say it was very crowded. With the acquisition of Fox, Disney now is in a position to compete with itself in some weeks. Disney has found very little success in live action films, not already based on a beloved property like an animated classic or a Marvel comic, so Disney+ is positioning itself to house the other films. Along with Lady and the Tramp, a reimagining of the animated classic available at launch, there will also be Noelle, a new Christmas classic starring Anna Kendrick, and Timmy Failure, based on the popular book.
So much was announced for the new streaming service, that it would be difficult to give them all the space needed to talk about them. Everything from new information on High School Musical: The Musical – The Series to the untitled Cassian Andor Star Wars show and the announcement that Disney+ will be the exclusive home of the first 30 seasons of The Simpsons (which makes you wonder what Fox Entertainment’s role in this new economy is).
The $6.99 price point will make the service very alluring to audiences, and Disney has no shortage of fans. The price point puts it under Netflix’s standard $10.99 plan and only $1 above CBS All Access’ ad supported plan. The service has something for all, from people looking to watch Ducktales to people looking to watch old episodes of Lizzie McGuire. Disney’s new streaming service will be successful no matter what. Speculating on the long term ramifications of a major motion picture studio launching an exclusive service like this will have to wait for another time. With so much content being available at launch (over 75,000 episodes and 500 movies by the end of the year), plus the ability to have offline play, this service will quickly be a major player in the streaming market.
Follow Brandon at @BTMcClure or on the Fake Nerd Podcast and Mythellaneous on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcasting app.