Disney's new streaming service is coming for Netflix & Amazon

by Katie Fustich
April 12, 2019
Disney Plus
image via shutterstock

Streaming platforms Netflix and Hulu have quite a bit going for them. But the former keeps jacking up prices and the latter just doesn’t have 1990 Disney animated classic The Rescuers Down Under. Today, Disney answered the prayers of the masses by announcing details of its long-awaited streaming service. The big takeaways:

  • Disney+ will launch in the United States on Nov. 12, 2019.

  • The streaming platform will cost users $6.99 per month.

  • The platform is expected to contain thousands of classic titles and original content, as well as movies and shows from Marvel, Star Wars and more.

At $6.99 a month, the streaming platform, first announced to investors at a Thursday meeting, is about half the cost of other big-name streaming services. Subscribers can also cash in on a $69.99 a year deal, which breaks down to $5.83 per month. Not bad.

It also looks like your hard earned seven bucks will get you a good amount of content, too. According to Variety, Disney+ will host, at launch, 7,500 episodes of current and off-air TV programs, 25 original series, 10 original movies, 400 film titles (Rescuers Down Under, anyone), and 100 recent theatrical releases. The company expects to continue producing original titles at a rate of about 50 per year. Dang.

Don’t expect the content to be limited to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, either. In a push to appeal to an even wider audience, the company announced it had acquired exclusive rights to stream all 30 seasons of The Simpsons, via its ownership of 21st Century Fox.

Disney+ will also be the exclusive home for current and future titles from the Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars universes. Basically, no matter what type of nerd you are, it sounds like you’ll be needing Disney+.

Fans can expect to access Disney+ on the web, game consoles, smart TVs and via plugins like Roku. Disney is hoping that the low price and wide array of content will help kickstart subscription numbers and reach as wide an audience as possible, quickly. The company has set lofty goals for itself, shooting for 60 to 90 million subscribers by the end of 2024. To fuel this growth, the company is expected to dish out more than $1 billion for original content and more in 2020 alone.

Some found the news (and the budget) particularly surprising, given the fact that Disney and Netflix once had an amicable relationship. Back in 2012, Netflix was feeding Disney as much as $300 million a year for rights to stream their content — a move made even more lucrative by Disney’s dwindling cable viewership.

Yet, Disney cut ties with the streaming giant in 2017, and announced plans for the streaming service that is now Disney+.  Still, some think Disney should be taking notes from Netflix, who has learned time and again that original content is not always a worthwhile investment (or maybe I'm just still bitter about the Gilmore Girls reboot). Still, Disney is relying on its status as a legacy brand with numerous digital and physical outlets to help the platform turn a profit within the next five years.

In that direction, things are already off to a good start for Mickey and the fam — following the Disney+ announcement, the company’s stock saw a 10 percent spike.  

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