Disney plus is on its way. As if we didn't already have enough TV to keep us busy, the Disney streaming service coming this November (in the US, at least) looks set to drain our bank balances that little further.
With studio portfolios and catalogs ranging from the Star Wars franchise, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Pixar, and even The Simpsons - from the recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox - there's plenty of big-name content out there to draw users to the service, and some fear that it could even stop Netflix's massive growth in user base.
With a launch date set for November 12, 2019, we know how long we have to wait before platform land, and Disney has shared enough of the goodness and amount of content on offer, as well as how much it will cost – to give us a vague picture of what we we get. We even know that Disney Plus is joining Hulu on the Nintendo Switch, as the console is famously demanding on its third-party apps.
It's also likely to come to Apple TV by Disney CEO Bob Iger, despite speculation that he will clash with Apple's new streaming service, Apple TV Plus.
Read all the latest news about Disney Plus pricing, subscriptions, and what movies and series will be available on the service when it launches later this year.
Update: Disney has announced a new streaming package in the US that will hulu that ESPN+ Disney+ in one package for the same price as Netflix ($12.99 per month).
disney plus faq
- What is Disney Plus? Online streaming platform for Disney-owned movies and series. Yes, it's like Netflix.
- What's Disney Plus Cost? $5.99 (about £5 / AU $10) per month in the US - with global pricing yet to be announced.
- When does Disney Plus launch? November 12, 2019 in the US, with global rollout expected in early 2020.
- What shows and movies will be on Disney Plus? A mix of blockbusters (Marvel, Star Wars, Disney, Pixar, etc.) as well as documentaries and originally produced TV shows made especially for the service.
- Will there be classic Disney movies? You can count on the Disney Store to open up to the streaming service, with many years worth of classic Disney movies available on launch day.
Disney plus review
Disney Plus will be an all-in-one video destination for watching movies, TV shows and cartoons scattered across the Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel brands - packing lots of existing movies and TV shows along with a stack of brand new content. With the acquisition of Disney Foxes completed, we'll also be able to see a host of other franchises - like the X-Men or Avatar - go into service.
Disney has been working on the plan for some time, acquiring a majority stake in streaming technology provider BAMTech in 2017 after an initial investment the previous year. BAMTech has pulled out of the Major League Baseball streaming effort and now powers platforms like HBO now and ESPN+ Sports Complex, so it knows a thing or two about on-demand video traffic.
- Can Apple's streaming service beat Disney for a punch?
Disney makes serious money about $ 300 million) puts its movies and properties on Netflix and other services, but if Disney Plus is attractive enough to pull in millions of paying subscribers, then it could generate potentially more revenue. And it gives Disney a new, exclusive platform to develop new content, whether it's existing brands or original properties.
Disney plus release date
Disney plus the streaming service will launch in the US on November 12, 2019, with an expected (but not yet officially confirmed) UK launch date around that time or a few months later. This still gives Disney plenty of time to sue creators and develop and produce new shows - or at least get the ball rolling.
If you're in Australia, it looks like you'll be getting Disney movies and series on Stan for a while.
Disney Plus prices
Right now, Disney has just released details about Us Pricing, where the streaming service will cost $6,99 per month. We will update you as soon as the news lands on prices in other regions. Which means it looks like Disney has kept its promise to undercut Netflix – at least for now.
“I can tell that our plan for Disney is priced well below where Netflix is. This partly reflects the fact that it will have a significantly smaller volume, ” Robert Iger says, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO. “It's going to have a lot of high quality [content], because of the brands and franchises that will be on it that we've been talking about. But it will be easy to start with less volume, and the price reflects that.”
Iger also suggested that the price could rise gradually over time as the service expanded, which is not surprising—Netflix prices have moved up along its axis toward original content.
…It's all a bit ironic since then Disney announced a subscription package that would compete with Netflix in terms of price. The package will include hulu (advertised) that ESPN+ and Disney+ for $12.99 a month - the same price as a standard Netflix subscription. This is a good deal if you want all three services, or if you live in a home with multiple age ranges that could enjoy the full range of content on offer.
If you're in the UK, journalist Tom Butler pointed out on Twitter that you can already make some of the content that is scheduled for Disney Plus on the Disney Life app for £5 (about $6/AU$9). But that doesn't include some of the new streaming platform's biggest giveaways, like Marvel and Star Wars properties - although recent seasons are currently Clone Wars.
Disney plus movies, shows and exclusives
Disney Plus plans to have four to five exclusive TV shows and four to five original movies launching in late 2019, which means there will be plenty of fresh content a day – including every Disney movie ever made.
Some of the most anticipated Disney plus shows will come courtesy of Marvel, and be produced solely to serve.
The first will be The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (starring Anthony Mackie), expected in Q3/Fall 2020, about a year after the platform goes live – so we'll have to wait a while before the exclusive content is in full swing .
Hiddleston fans will be delighted to hear that the next new Marvel line-up will be all about Loki, coming in Q2/Spring 2021 - as WandaVision, a spin-off after Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany). 3k/Fall 2021 will then bring a Hawkeye TV show with Jeremy Renner reprising the role.
Interestingly, there will also be a miracle TV show that puts a different spin on the MCU. Called Marvel's What If...?, the animated series is based on the comic book series and will give fans a glimpse into what could have happened if some of the universe's biggest stories went a little differently. Kind of like Agent Peggy Carter if she took the super soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers?
When it comes to older Marvel property videos, we can expect the ones to be pulled from Netflix as soon as the contracts run out before being switched to Disney Plus when it launches. As part of a conference call with investors, Disney CEO Bob Iger clarified that Captain Marvel 2019 will be the first Disney movie exclusively for the service - and we know that Endgame will follow up a month after launch.
One of the most popular announcements so far is that of a new live-action Star Wars series with Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Jungle Book) who will write and executive produce the show. We've been waiting for details about her for what feels like years, but the title has finally been revealed as The Mandalorian.
For those not in the know, the Mandalorians were a race of knapsack-carried warriors with a lot of political baggage. Now, if you've watched Star Wars Rebels, the only Mandalorian you've probably met before is Boba Fett.
But the new series will introduce us to a Mandalorian we've never met before and will accompany his (or her?) adventures in the Star Wars universe.
Favreau will also be joined by other great directors, including Star Wars alum Dave Filoni, who will direct the first episode, as well as Bryce Dallas Howard, Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) and Deborad Chow (Jessica Jones).
It's not only new "Star Wars" episodic content that is in service early, either. Rogue One by Cassian Andor (played by Diego Luna) will also make his own prequel series exploring his life prior to the events of the 2016 film.
At San Diego Comic-Con 2018, Disney announced that a new, final season of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars will also be in service. We have to imagine that existing episodes, currently on Netflix, will also join the fray.
Documentaries (you know, from the real world?)
He's not a superhero and space in the movies though. Disney Plus will also be home to DisneyNature documentaries, including Dolphin RZEF - which will be narrated by none other than actress Natalie Portman (Jackie, Black Swan).
The Disney Nature production was established in 2008, in response to the worldwide success of Antarctica based on the documentary March of the Penguins. Disney Nature is working on both documentaries and animation, and will also be bringing Disney's full-length cartoon penguins plus service.
The Simpsons is the best of the rest
Many new shows and series have been rumored or reported, including new ones monsters. project and a fresh look at the once popular Great musical franchises.
Deadline suggests that projects based on "Lady and the Tramp", "Don Quixote", sword and stoneand 3 men and a baby are in the works, along with other projects, called magician's paper, Stargirl, ofand Timmy fail.
The timeline also suggests that two films on the service were already in post-production, as of February 2018: Camp Magic from director Mark Waters (starring Adam Devine and Jeffrey Tambor), and a Christmas comedy Noel by Mark Lawrence (featuring Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader).
This is not to mention the back catalogue. One of the most important is that Disney Plus will also be the official home of every episode of The Simpsons, which is another Disney property acquired when 20th Century Fox bought it.
Little has been said about the old content, although we imagine there will be a good share of remastered classics and some titles from Disney's vast 95-year history. There will also be many TV programs from Disney Channel, Disney Jr. and Disney xD.
All that being said, you can expect "thousands of hours" of Disney series and movies on service, including existing content, and that new Disney, Marvel and Star Wars movies will be available to stream at some point after their theatrical run.
What Disney plus is missing?
The Disney streaming service will not have content from outside the Disney ecosystem, as far as we know. It may seem obvious enough, but services like Netflix and Hulu have such diverse offerings due to their wide partnerships and licensing agreements.
But of course Disney has a lot of content to draw on, especially if all of the Fox's content comes on board, but it's still going to be a very Disney-centric hotel. Also, there will be no R-rated or adult content on the service. These things will go to Hulu instead, according to the report from term.
Although Disney has now closed the deal to acquire Fox, it's unlikely that the R-rated Deadpool will go to Disney Plus.
Also, the Marvel TV original series on Netflix won't be switching to the new Disney Plus service - to the best of our knowledge. This means that the likes of Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones are not rebooting on Disney Plus in their current iteration. They have all been canceled from further seasons, but we assume that previous seasons will continue to be on the Netflix platform.
Doesn't this mean Hulu can't pick up these series and work with them, or perhaps they're more of a family reimagining for Disney Plus?
Should I subscribe to Disney Plus?
We haven't tried the platforms yet ourselves, so even though more information is revealed every day, it's hard to make firm recommendations. But now information has become known about prices, the early signs are definitely promising.
Disney plans to leverage its worthy franchise vault to create exclusive and potentially compelling new content, as well as create a single streaming service to watch all the latest movies and series from across the Disney creative ecosystem.
Disney Plus will have less content than Netflix, but the price is lower - and Disney Plus may be more attractive as an add-on to your current subscription, rather than a full replacement for Netflix or Hulu.
Disney's streaming service isn't as comprehensive, or wide-ranging, as some of its competitors, but Disney, Star wars, Marvel and fans may have trouble resisting some of the original series and movies coming down the line. We're certainly happy to see that Disney Plus has live action in mind. "Star Wars" series above all, but other projects sound casual as well.
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