The Walt Disney Company has been talking about plans to start a Netflix-style streaming service for two years.
Disney is betting big on its 2019 streaming service called Disney Plus, and it’ll finally give us the best picture yet of what to expect. Disney held an investor day at its Buena Vista studios in California. Disney CEO Bob Iger, who’s called the streaming service the company’s “biggest priority” this year, led a presentation that included demos of the Disney Plus app and trailers and behind-the-scenes footage of its exclusive shows like Star Wars: The Mandalorian. It will take as long as four years before all of the deals have expired, the firm said. The delay could hobble Disney’s chances to succeed in the streaming market, described by chief executive Bob Iger as his “biggest priority”.When it does eventually launch, however, Disney+ will be a streaming juggernaut. The service will bundle together some of the firm’s major franchises, including the work of Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic and Star Wars, for a monthly subscription price of $6.99, or $69.99 a year. And because the firm has had its chequebook out lately – spending $70bn on 20th Century Fox – Disney+ will also incorporate content from recently acquired companies, such as the first 30 seasons of The Simpsons. Disney also announced a big slate of documentary and reality shows that weren’t previously known. Some piggyback on the popularity of its blockbuster franchises, such as Marvel’s 616 — a documentary series exploring the real-world context to the stories, characters and creators in the Marvel universe — and Marvel’s Hero Project, which spotlights young people dedicated to acts of bravery and kindness.
Unlike Apple, Disney unveiled footage from original shows and films that are headed to Disney Plus. One live-action series is called “The Mandalorian.” Set in the “Star Wars” universe and created by Jon Favreau, the show cost an estimated $100 million for 10 episodes, on a par with earlier seasons of HBO’s extravagant “Game of Thrones.”Disney also demonstrated the Disney Plus app. The simple user interface, with movie and television tiles arranged against a dark background, will look familiar to any Netflix, Amazon or Hulu user. There will be “recommended for you” rows of suggested shows and movies, as well as the option to “continue watching” programs. There will be tiles dedicated to the Disney brands, including Pixar, ‘Star Wars’ and National Geographic. Each time a user hovers over a brand tile, an animated image is set off — fireworks blasting behind the Magic Kingdom for the Disney tile or a comic book flip for Marvel.