The Latest: Disney Plus to launch Nov. 12 for $6.99 a month

SAN FRANCISCO — The Latest on Disney’s new video-streaming service (all times local):

5 p.m.

Disney says its new streaming service, Disney Plus, will cost $6.99 per month when it launches in the U.S. on November 12.

That is cheaper than rival Netflix, which charges $13 per month for its most popular streaming plan. But the Disney service has a narrower focus on family-friendly shows and movies.

The company is announcing details of its long-awaited streaming service at an event in Burbank, California, on Thursday.

NYSE:DIS – Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic will be available on connected TV and mobile devices.

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4:45 p.m.

Disney says its new video streaming service will launch in the U.S. as early as October.

The service, called Disney Plus, has no pricing yet. Disney is revealing details at an investor event Thursday in Burbank, California.

The streaming service is expected to take on rivals Netflix, HBO Go and Showtime Anytime. Disney also owns a controlling stake in streaming service Hulu.

Disney Plus will launch in the last quarter of this year. It will focus on family-friendly shows when it launches, including a live action Star Wars series and a series about Marvel character Loki.

Disney ended a lucrative licensing relationship with Netflix in order to create the streaming service and faces challenges as it builds a service to compete with the entrenched streaming leaders.

Disney+ Launch Summary:

  • Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic will be available on connected TV and mobile devices.
  • ESPN+ and Hulu will “likely” be offered as part of a discounted bundle.
  • A Disney executive told Variety more specifically that Western Europe and in Asia-Pacific regions will start in Q4 2019, and into early 2020, with Eastern Europe and Latin America starting at the end of 2020.
  • Disney+ will be ad-free, supported solely by subscription fees, and available on as many platforms as possible: from disneyplus.com to smart TVs, connected streaming devices including Roku and PS4, and include offline viewing.
  • The service will offer 4K HDR streaming for that high-definition footage.

    It’s coming to the U.S. on November 12th, with a global rollout as follows: “Disney+ will rapidly expand globally, with plans to be in nearly all major regions of the world within the next two years.”

Shows and more:

  • Disney+ will include 7,500 episodes of current and off-air TV shows; 25 original series and 10 original movies and specials; 400 library movie titles; and 100 recent theatrical films release, according to Agnes Chu, senior VP of content.
  • All 30 seasons of “The Simpsons” will be available on day one, as Homer and family explained (Twitter).
  • Marvel will offer “Loki” starring Tom Hiddleston, “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” live-action series, “WandaVision” with Elizabeth Olsen, and “Marvel’s What If…?”, exploring the MCU.
  • There’s a whole lot of “Star Wars”: “The Mandalorian”, the first scripted live-action Star Wars series, a new series of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”.
  • Pixar will offer “Toy Story”-based projects, “Forky Asks a Question”, an animated short series, and the short film “Lamp Life”. And more!

The big picture – and the costs:

  • $7 a month (or less for a yearly price) is just so value-packed, considering the catalog Disney is offering.
  • It’s super-aggressive, and Disney admits it won’t be nearly enough to pay the bills.
  • The interesting thing about the streaming space, where Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and Hulu and the rest play, is that no one is making money.
  • Instead, the companies are spending like crazy to hook subscribers, with a future payday in mind.
  • It’s the same as Lyft and Uber: both losing between hundreds of millions to billions, as they attempt to make a land grab.
  • Disney said that it will spend $1 billion in cash on original programming for Disney+ in 2020, with “just under” $1 billion for operating expenses.
  • Original content costs will rise to around $2.5 billion by 2024.
  • Meanwhile, Netflix is poised to spend $15 billion in 2019 and said it would lose between $3-4 billion in cash in 2019. Amazon said it is spending $5 billion in 2019.
  • The only way to claw that back is with more subscribers. But with more competition, more subscriptions for more types of content, a fixed number of hours in the day, and incredible sums being paid to studios, showrunners, and stars to produce original ideas, not every service can win.
  • Given Disney’s breadth of content, and the likelihood that it can snap its fingers and create a new Marvel film that returns at least a billion dollars or so, it’s hard to see it losing its nerve.

Published at Fri, 12 Apr 2019 00:44:04 +0000