We have some meaningful and crucial new details regarding Disney and their upcoming streaming service. The company's new DTC (direct to consumer) service is meant to be a direct competitor with Netflix and will help give Disney a serious foot in the streaming game, which is really the only place they're lacking at the present time, given their dominance in Hollywood. Now, we have word on what the service will be called, roughly what it will cost and what to expect in terms of content.
First up, the question that many people have been asking, the service will reportedly be called Disney Play. Many have jokingly taken to calling it "Disneyflix" but thanks to Disney CEO Bob Iger, we now know that is their official name. For now. The service isn't expected to launch until late 2019, so things could change between now and then. But at least for the time being, people finally know what to start calling this thing.
These new details come as part of a wide-ranging report detailing how other massive media companies, such as Disney, are trying to catch up to Netflix. They're by far the world's largest streaming service, with around 130 million subscribers worldwide, and they have changed the game completely. Streaming is the future and everyone else is going to try very hard to develop direct relationships with their customer base via streaming in order to not get lost in the flow. As such, Bob Iger calls Disney Play "the biggest priority of the company during calendar [year] 2019." That's saying something.
While not clarifying, Disney's CEO also said that Disney Play will launch with a "suite" of services for subscribers. In terms of content, don't expect Disney to start pumping out new shows and movies every week like Netflix. They do have plenty of exclusive products for the service in development, such as the live-action Star Wars TV show, the live-action Lady and the Tramp remake, possible reboots like Honey I Shrunk the Kids and The Parent Trap, not to mention whatever assets they want to include from Fox's library, once the merger is complete. Despite that, Bob Iger knows their service simply won't have as much, in terms of quantity, to offer subscribers. However, they're playing the quality game.
"We have the luxury of programming this product with programs from those brands or derived from those brands, which obviously creates a demand and gives us the ability to not necessarily be in the volume game, but to be in the quality game."
The major advantage that Netflix has is attractive properties. Not only do they have years and years of content that people want to see, but they can create new shows and movies based on brands such as Marvel and Star Wars. While existing Marvel Netflix shows will stay in place, future ventures will be for Disney Play. Not only that, but Disney is ending their lucrative deal with Netflix, meaning that all future Disney titles will no longer debut on Netflix and they're going to lose all of the Disney movies and TV shows they currently have. That's a big blow for them.
One big problem for Disney is that the Star Wars movies are currently locked up in a cable deal on TNT And TBS. That deal runs through 2024, meaning that most of the movies in the franchise won't be coming to Disney Play at the start, unless they can work something out. For now, it doesn't look like that's going to be the case.
Last, but certainly not least, comes cost. Bob Iger didn't throw out an exact number, but because they will have less content to offer, it's been made clear that the Disney Streaming service will cost less than Netflix, which costs between $8 and $14 a month depending on your subscription level. It's going to take a lot to make this a profitable venture for Disney, but coming in cheap could help make this more attractive out of the gate. This news comes to us courtesy of Variety.