With the announcement today of the live-action Cassian Andor “Star Wars” series, Disney has opened up officially about its upcoming streaming service and finally given it a name – ‘Disney+’.
Set to debut sometime in 2019, Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke about it on an investor call earlier today and revealed it aims to get around the biggest problem rival Netflix has – finding new content on its interface (especially new films).
The Disney+ app will have five microsites within it devoted to their various key brands – Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, Nat Geo and Disney. Each of these brand sites will have different user interfaces.
The legacy content on Disney+ is expected to include approximately 7,000 episodes of television and 500 movies to start. The initial goal is to have four to five original movies and five television shows a year with the initial show line-up including:
– Three “Star Wars” series – the resurrected animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” the live-action “The Mandalorian,” and the aforementioned Cassian Andor show.
– Marvel will be doing TV series about the characters of Loki, Scarlet Witch/Vision, and Falcon/Winter Soldier.
– Pixar is doing a yet-to-be-titled animated series based on the popular “Monsters, Inc” franchise, and a documentary series “Ink & Paint” about the untold story of the often-overlooked female employees who worked for Disney animation.
– Also coming are TV series remakes of the John Cusack-led “High Fidelity,” the Disney Channel franchise “High School Musical,” and the 1990s sports family franchise “Mighty Ducks.
– Original movies including “Magic Camp” and “Noelle” currently in post-production; “Lady and the Tramp,” “Stargirl,” “Timmy Failure”, and “Togo” currently in production; and “Three Men and a Baby,” “Don Quixote,” “Father of the Bride,” “Flora & Ulysses,” “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” “The Paper Magician,” “The Parent Trap,” “Peter Pan” and “The Sword in the Stone” all in development.
The price point hasn’t been announced but is expected to be in the range of $8-14 per month.
Once the Fox transaction is complete, Disney will have 60% ownership of Hulu and Iger made it clear that Hulu and Disney+ can co-exist quite nicely – it will be Disney’s home for general entertainment while Disney+ will house family fare.
In fact, Iger suggests either or both of Hulu’s minority shareholders Comcast and AT&T may choose to divest of their interest. He also says he plans to invest more in original programming for the service and perhaps increase the monthly subscription fees.