Advanced Television

Disney+ launching Nov 12 at $6.99

April 12, 2019

By Colin Mann

The Walt Disney Company has presented an extensive overview of its comprehensive direct-to-consumer strategy, unveiling a first look at the Disney+ offering, which will launch in the US on November 12th, 2019 at $6.99 (€6.20) per month, with plans to launch globally over the next two years.

The service will offer fans of all ages a new way to experience what Disney calls the “unparalleled” content from the Company’s iconic entertainment brands, including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, and will be available on connected TV and mobile devices.

“Disney+ marks a bold step forward in an exciting new era for our company – one in which consumers will have a direct connection to the incredible array of creative content that is The Walt Disney Company’s hallmark,”  declared Robert A. Iger, chairman and chief executive officer. “We are confident that the combination of our unrivalled storytelling, beloved brands, iconic franchises, and cutting-edge technology will make Disney+ a standout in the marketplace, and deliver significant value for consumers and shareholders alike.”

In addition to its robust library of theatrical and television content, in its first year Disney+ will release more than 25 original series and 10 original films, documentaries, and specials by some of the industry’s most prolific and creative storytellers. New original titles for Disney+ announced include:

Marvel Studios:

  • The Falcon and The Winter Soldier live-action series with Anthony Mackie returning as Falcon and Sebastian Stan reprising his role as Winter Soldier
  • WandaVision live-action series with Elizabeth Olsen returning as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany reprising his role as The Vision
  • Marvel’s What If…?, the first animated series from Marvel Studios, taking inspiration from the comic books of the same name. Each episode will explore a pivotal moment from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and turn it on its head, leading the audience into uncharted territory

Walt Disney Animation Studios: 

  • Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 documentary series showing the hard work and imagination that go into making one of the most highly-anticipated Walt Disney Animation Studios features

Pixar Animation Studios:

  • Toy Story-based projects, Forky Asks a Question animated short series and Lamp Life short film

National Geographic:

  • The World According to Jeff Goldblum documentary series where Jeff pulls back the curtain on a seemingly familiar object to reveal a world of astonishing connections, fascinating science, and a whole lot of big ideas
  • Magic of the Animal Kingdom documentary series which takes viewers behind the scenes with the highly respected animal-care experts, veterinarians, and biologists at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot’s SeaBase aquarium

Disney Television Animation:

  • The Phineas and Ferb Movie (working title) animated film featuring many of the original voice cast

These titles will join previously announced scripted originals including The Mandalorian, the world’s first scripted live-action Star Wars series, the exclusive new season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, the untitled Cassian Andor series starring Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk, the Marvel Studios series Loki starring Tom Hiddleston, Monsters at Work, Diary of a Female President, and live-action films Lady and the Tramp, Noelle, Togo, Timmy Failure and Stargirl. Nonfiction series also announced earlier include Be Our Chef, Cinema Relics: Iconic Art of the Movies (wt), Earthkeepers (wt), Encore!, the untitled Walt Disney Imagineering documentary series, Marvel’s 616, Marvel’s Hero Project, (Re)Connect, Rogue Trip, and Shop Class (wt).

Additionally, Disney+ announced that all 30 seasons of The Simpsons will be available on the service on day one. In year one, audiences will also have access to family-friendly Fox titles such as The Sound of Music, The Princess Bride, and Malcolm in the Middle. This content will join a collection of more than 7,500 television episodes and 500 films including blockbuster hits from 2019 and beyond.

“We’re extremely excited about our growing portfolio of direct-to-consumer offerings,” declared Kevin Mayer, chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and International.”As we demonstrated today, with Disney+ we will deliver extraordinary entertainment in innovative ways to audiences around the world. We’ll continue to enhance the user experience with a constant pipeline of high-quality programming, making the service even more appealing to consumers.”

Designed to super-serve the most ardent fans, Disney+ will provide subscribers with a feature-rich product experience that makes it easy to navigate, discover, and watch their favourite programming with immersive brand tiles and dedicated pages for Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. Subscribers will have the ability to create custom profiles with each receiving personalised experiences curated to their unique tastes based on past behaviours and preferred content.

The Disney+ service will be available on a wide range of mobile and connected TV devices, including gaming consoles, streaming media players, and smart TVs, and will adjust to the best possible high definition viewing experience based on a subscriber’s available bandwidth, with support for up to 4K HDR video playback. Fans will also have access to an unprecedented amount of content for offline viewing.

Following its US debut, Disney+ will rapidly expand globally, with plans to be in nearly all major regions of the world within the next two years.

According to analyst firm Digital TV Research, the company expects to reach 60-90 million Disney+ subscribers by 2024, with the US contributing a third. Digital TV Research believes that this is achievable. In fact, Digital TV Research forecasts 75 million subscribers by 2024 – right in the middle of Disney’s estimates.

Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, expanded: “The Disney brand is known and respected in every home across the world. Disney will deliver a reasonably-priced, attractive platform that has plenty of appealing content.”

The US will remain the largest market by some distance, adding an average of 5 million subscribers a year to take its total to 25 million by 2024. Some way behind, the UK will provide 5.5 million subscribers, followed by Brazil and Canada. These four countries will account for half the total subscribers.


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