The latest entry in an increasingly crowded marketplace, Disney’s in-house streaming service Disney+ has had a launch date of November 12th announced, at a subscription cost of $6.99 a month, or $69.99 annually. Given that this monthly fee is cheaper than those charged by Netflix and Amazon Prime, this feels distinctly like Disney are throwing down the gauntlet.
This comes on the heels the announcement of an array of Marvel Cinematic Universe spin-offs for the service, as well as a Star Wars project set somewhere between episodes 6 and 7, and the Jeff Goldblum vehicle ‘The World According To Jeff Goldblum’. The service will also, from day one, be offering the vast majority of Disney’s established bank of content, which, as you can imagine, is a lot, covering the entire Disney Signature collection and the bulk of Pixar’s back catalogue – and thanks to a recent high-profile acquisition, also includes the streaming rights to all 200 hours of The Simpsons.
While it won’t be there for the launch day, Frozen 2, the eagerly awaited sequel to Disney’s 2013 hit, is scheduled for release on November 22nd, and will be distributed via Disney+, alongside a documentary on the making of the film.
Although this November 12th launch date only applies to North America, Disney plans to begin introducing Disney+ to Western Europe and Asia soon after, and to have it established in Eastern Europe and Latin America by the end of 2020. The company’s CFO, Christine McCarthy, was quoted as expecting the service to reach 60 to 90 million subscribers within five years – far from impossible given the popularity of streaming services and their already well-established brand. Meanwhile, Disney+’s senior VP of content Agnes Chu hoped to have some fifty original programmes being produced annually for the service – which, if the ones announced already are any guide, will mostly be adaptations and spinoffs of already-big titles.