In the age of exclusive streaming services like HBO Go and CBS All Access sitting among streaming giants like Netflix or Hulu, it’s no surprise that The Walt Disney Co. is putting together a streaming service of its own. Disney Plus will draw upon the brand’s vast reservoir of content, and finally, we know when it will launch: Nov. 12, 2019.
Disney Plus is being priced very aggressively — $6.99 per month, or an annual upfront cost of $69.99 (which averages to about $5.83 per month). For comparison, Netflix’s monthly prices now range from $8.99 to $15.99 (for 4K). Disney Plus’ platform availability is equally aggressive, and includes Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Chromecast, smart TVs, desktop, and mobile.
The streaming service will launch domestically and eventually expand overseas, and will feature a slate of programming that is consistent with the Disney brand. The service will exclude R-rated movies, which will be relegated to Hulu (of which, after its purchase of 21st Century Fox, Disney is a major shareholder). Within the first year of the streaming service, Disney hopes to produce five original films and five original TV series exclusive to the streaming service.
Disney is very bullish on its audience outreach, anticipating 60-90 million subscribers by 2024, with two-thirds of that being international.
What will be on Disney Plus: New content from Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, Simpsons, and more
Live-action spin-off series of various Disney properties are already confirmed to stream exclusively on Disney Plus. At launch this will include Star Wars series The Mandalorian, a limited series about Falcon and the Winter Soldier; series based on High School Musical; and a live-action remake of The Lady and the Tramp with voices by Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux.
Disney Plus will also boast exclusive feature films focused on “holiday comedies, kid-centered capers, and true-life adventures,” such as Noelle, a holiday comedy starring Anna Kendrick, and Stargirl, based on the hit YA novel of the same name.
Thrilled to share a first look at Disney+ with you! pic.twitter.com/iiqjFjaNra— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) April 11, 2019
Also coming within the year are a Cassian Andor solo spin-off; one more season of the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars; a limited series about Loki, and Scarlet Witch and Vision (it’s called WandaVision — no, really).
Marvel Studios’ Disney Plus content is notable for being (mostly) canonical. “A post-Endgame MCU will be extremely different, and extremely focused on Disney Plus tying into our future movies,” said Marvel president Kevin Feige. That applies, presumably, to Loki, WandaVision, and the Falcon/Winter Soldier show — and not to What If?, a series that tells alternate stories from the MCU, just like the Marvel Comics series of the same name.
Disney Plus will host the entire Disney and Pixar motion picture library within the year, as well as all the Pixar shorts. A new Pixar series called Forky Asks Some Questions will be available the day it launches. There will be 5000 episodes of Disney Channel Shows and over 100 Disney Channel Original Movies — including an all-new Phineas and Ferb original movie called Cadence Across the Universe. Also included in the bundle is the entire Simpsons back catalog.
Some live-action movies like Pirates of the Caribbean and Alice in Wonderland will also be available at launch, with a slate of over 40 live-action movies rolling out within the first year.
The first two Star Wars trilogies, as well as Rogue One and The Force Awakens will be available at launch, with The Last Jedi and Solo coming later. Additionally, National Geographic (yes, Disney owns them) series and documentaries will be available, including new series called The World According to Jeff Goldblum and Magic of the Animal Kingdom . Meanwhile, the current plan entails keeping the Marvel films where they are now, meaning that Netflix gets to retain them for the time being.
The service will be subscription-based and ad-free. It will be available on a wide variety of platforms, from mobile and tablet to television and computer, and even some game consoles. Following its US debut, Disney Plus will rapidly expand globally, with plans to be in nearly all major regions of the world within the next two years.
Although the full scope of this new service isn’t fully known, one thing is clear — the Disney home video magic is now consolidated in one, concentrated location.