Disney+, Disney’s new streaming video service, is coming soon to a screen near you, joining SVOD services like Netflix, Hulu and DIRECTV NOW to compete for your subscription dollars. Disney+ will be the exclusive home to family-friendly Disney movies, TV shows, original programming, Pixar films, as well as Disney-owned franchises like Marvel and Star Wars.
Disney will offer all of its streaming video subscription services on the same platform, reports CNET. This includes Hulu, who Disney will have a majority stake in when the deal with 21st Century Fox closes, and ESPN+, the streaming sports subscription that launched in 2018. While each service will be separate, Disney will allow subscribers to sign into and pay for each service with the same login information and credit card information.
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CNET breaks down the types of content we can expect to see from these Disney-owned streaming services:
- Disney+: Disney’s family-friendly content (movies and TV) including classic Disney favorites, original programming, documentaries, family-friendly Marvel content, Star Wars, Pixar, National Geographic and theatrically released Disney movies. TV Guide reports there will be no R-rated movies on Disney+.
- ESPN+: Live sports (e.g., MLB, MLS, FA Cup, EFL, NHL, Grand Slam tennis, U.S. Open, etc.) and ESPN originals on-demand. $4.99 a month after 7-day free trial.
- Hulu: Thousands of TV shows and movies – limited commercials plan ($5.99 a month), no commercials plan ($11.99 per month) and Hulu + Live TV ($44.99 a month), a skinny bundle featuring unlimited access to Hulu’s streaming library, 60+ live and on-demand channels, cloud DVR storage and add-ons including HBO, SHOWTIME, CINEMAX and STARZ. Like Netflix, Hulu’s competitive advantage is its original programming including shows like The Handmaid’s Tale and Castle Rock. Hulu will also include Disney’s not-so-family-friendly content.
While these services are Disney-owned, there are plenty of SVOD, or OTT, subscription services that are not including CBS All Access, Netflix, PlayStation Vue and Sling TV, to name a few. Other services like WarnerMedia and Apple are expected to launch their own streaming services this year true. And, we can’t forget the growing trend of ad-supported, free video on-demand services like Freedive, Tubi and VuDu, who will also compete with Disney.
Disney is expected to release additional details about Disney+ at an investor meeting on April 11 where a sneak peek into Disney+ will be offered. The tentative release date for Disney+ is the fourth quarter of 2019.
Like Netflix and Hulu, Disney’s competitive advantage will be its exclusive content. This will be particularly important when Disney’s licensing agreements with Netflix expire this year. Then Disney+ and Hulu will be the only places that Disney fans will be able to get their favorite Disney characters, princesses and superheroes. Disney has not yet revealed the monthly price for the streaming subscription service, but it is likely to be somewhere in the range of $5.99 to $11.99 a month, following a free trial of up to one month.