With the launch of Disney+ at a surprisingly low monthly rate, millions of people rushed to subscribe. For the first time ever, nearly the entire Disney Vault was available to stream. But Disney+ isn’t just for kids. Here’s a quick rundown of everything that makes this new streaming service so special.
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How Much Does Disney+ Cost?
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In order to unlock almost every Disney title ever made – plus Star Wars, Marvel and more – you would think Disney+ would be one of the most expensive streaming services. Instead, it only costs $7 per month.
You can save even more money by getting Disney’s streaming bundle. For only $13 per month you get a combined subscription to Disney+, ESPN+ as well as the ad-supported version of Hulu’s on-demand service.
Where is Disney+ Available?
Disney plans to make its streaming service available worldwide. Unfortunately, the combination of existing distribution deals and local content regulations prevented an instant global rollout.
Instead, Disney set its schedule for the countries where it had the most flexibility. The streaming service debuted on November 12, 2019 in the United States, Canada and The Netherlands followed by launches in Australia and New Zealand a week later. Further expansion in March 2020 will adds 34 European countries including France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. More European countries, including the Nordic countries, will get Disney+ by the end of the summer.
Disney has also announce that it will integrate Disney+ into the company’s popular Hotstar streaming service in India.
Who is Disney+ For?
Disney+ will focus on the family-friendly content its movie studios produce — essentially anything with a PG-13 rating or lower in the cinema. More adult-oriented content, such as movies from 21st Century Fox and Touchstone Pictures will head to Hulu.
This limitation still makes Disney+ an appealing choice for a wide range of people. Parents with kids of any age will find plenty of entertainment for the whole household. Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or of Star Wars will get all of the movies and a lot of original content as well.
What Kind of Content is on Disney+?
Disney+ will have a wide range of content to appeal to that varied customer base.
Disney and Pixar will contribute animated feature film and TV shows. Disney also has decades of live-action feature films to offer.
All of the Star Wars films in the Lucasfilm archives will be on Disney+ as will the dozens of Marvel Studios titles.
National Geographic will contribute many of its science, nature and cultural documentaries.
And you’ll get all 30 seasons of The Simpsons.
How Did Disney+ Get Started?
Over the past fifty years, Disney’s consumer distribution strategy centered on the Disney Vault. Once a film like Bambi had finished its run, Disney would lock it away for a decade or more. Each time the film re-released, Disney made big bucks off of new forms of media: LP’s and then VHS and then DVD and then Blu-ray.
With the development of streaming — and the seeming domination of Netflix — it became obvious to Disney’s executives that streaming directly to consumers was the way of the future.
“We believe another area of growth for this company is in the direct-to-consumer space,” Disney CEO Bob Iger told analysts in May 2017. “Not just with ESPN, but with our other brands, and not just in the U.S, but worldwide.”
The analyst call three months later was the first announcement of Disney’s plans to stream directly to the consumer. “One of the most compelling brands for a direct-to-consumer product is Disney,” Iger said. “And to that end, we will launch a Disney-branded streaming service in 2019 – which will be unlike anything else in the market.”
At the same time, Iger announced that Disney’s distribution deal with Netflix was coming to an end. The new streaming service would be the exclusive streaming home for all of the content Disney and Pixar produces — and hinted that Marvel and Lucasfilm could go exclusive as well.
Details slowly trickled out over the following year. It wasn’t until early 2019, however, that Disney revealed just how aggressively its streaming plans were. By announcing a $7 monthly price — less than half of the equivalent Netflix plan — Disney put the industry on notice.
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