Details have emerged about Disney’s forthcoming streaming service, thanks to a large report by Variety on the future of online viewing. The ever-growing corporate behemoth — which is still working on sucking Fox into its orbit — will launch sometime in 2019, luring subscribers with their embarrassment of riches, from Marvel to Star Wars to, of course, Disney’s itself.
CEO Bob Iger went into some specifics about his company’s service, minus the name (which won’t be Disney Play, as some publications reported earlier). They’ve long wanted to muscle their way into the streaming game, though Iger tells Variety, “We’re going to walk before we run.”
As reported earlier, they won’t be pulling their product, from TV shows to blockbuster movies, from places like Netflix and Hulu and Amazon, at least not right away. (Forthcoming films, including Captain Marvel and Frozen 2, will, however, become Disney exclusives.) Moreover, it will cost less than Netflix, which charges $8 to $14 a month, mostly because they simply don’t have as much content.
Disney is counting on the exclusivity factor of selected Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and Disney-branded properties to drive interest in the service. Iger has acknowledged that the Disney price tag will be less than Netflix’s $8-$14 monthly fee — a reflection of the lighter content load. “We have the luxury of programming this product with programs from those brands or derived from those brands, which obviously creates a demand and gives us the ability to not necessarily be in the volume game, but to be in the quality game,” Iger said.
Disney’s streaming service will also lean heavily on their brands’ deep back catalogue, including their classic animated films. (Sorry, you won’t be able to stream The Sword in the Stone anywhere else.) Eventually there will be original content, including new Star Wars and Marvel shows.
But when it launches, it will be all Disney all the time, and couch potatoes will have to ask themselves if forking over money for another streaming giant is worth it. Good for Disney, then, that they now own everything.