Even before its launch, Disney+ was turning the streaming industry on its head. But what is Disney+ and who is it for?

CORD-CUTTER EXPRESS

We’ll match you to the best live TV streaming service in under 5 minutes.

Start Now

How Did Disney+ Get Started?

Source: D23

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.“

Disney+
Annual Plan - 2 Months Free!
$69.99/ Year

7,000+ TV episodes

500+ films

Disney+ Originals

4 simultaneous streams

SIGN UP
Disney+
Monthly Plan
$6.99/ month

7,000+ TV episodes

500+ films

Disney+ Originals

4 simultaneous streams

SIGN UP

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.

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. It scheduled a November 12 launch date in the United States, Canada and The Netherlands followed by launches in Australia and New Zealand a week later.

Who is Disney+ For?

Disney+ launch
Source: Disney+

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, 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.

Related: Disney+ Content Library and List of Titles in 2019 – Complete Breakdown

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.

Annual Plan - 2 Months Free!

Subscribe Now
Chris Casper is a former tech industry product manager who escaped from California for New Mexico. Now he writes about science and tech while searching for the perfect green chile sauce.