More information has been released this month surrounding Disney’s plans for a subscription streaming service to rival Netflix. The project is planned to launch in 2019, with production already being underway for exclusive new series’ and films. The line-up includes a Monsters, Inc animated series and a couple of Star Wars spin offs as if Disney and Lucasfilm weren’t already dragging the Star Wars universe out past redemption (I for one am still pretending that The Last Jedi did not happen). The interest in new material for an exclusive audience is potentially in response to the Netflix Original label being the stamp of an almost guaranteed success.
"Disney are "not trying to kill or hurt Netflix" - Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Corporation"
Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, revealed to investors that the service will cost less per subscription than its competitor, but insist that they are “not trying to kill or hurt Netflix.” On further reflection, Disney have a vast library of movies on offer with their acquisition of both Lucasfilm in 2012, and Marvel Entertainment in 2009. These, alongside the ‘Princess films’ and their live action counterparts of recent years, would provide an affordable space to catch up on and revisit some favourites that may have otherwise been missed, due to their lack of affordability and sporadic placing on various streaming sites at present.
The rumoured plan is for Disney to start removing their titles from other services, so that they can be found only exclusively on their site. However, the Netflix/ Marvel TV shows like The Defenders; Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist are going to remain on Netflix as there would be too much legal chaos to move them, and because they are aiming for a different audience. The streaming service is confirmed to host no ‘R’ rated content (in the UK this is roughly nothing over a 12 age rating). Disney have a major stake in Hulu entertainment, so it is planned for this to host their more adult material, so that Disney streaming service can host a compendium of child-friendly titles.
"The service is confirmed to host no 'R' rated content (roughly a '12' in the UK)"
Disney currently have a prototype of the streaming service on a smaller scale in the UK, called DisneyLife, that has a tempting package including; discount in the Disney stores, more than 6000 Disney songs for download, and over 4000 Disney TV episodes.
I for one am interested to see how this venture pans out. The streaming service could be a valuable resource for parents wanting to entertain their children, without having to spend a fortune on each Disney DVD, which rarely drop below the £8 mark. But I’m curious to see how the service will impact the Disney TV channels, and whether this will come to usurp their position as the go-to place to access these shows for children. Nothing is for certain, but it would be in true Disney style for this move to be an enormous success for the company in extending their global reach further and drawing in more audiences from the streaming market.