Disney+ just got a major shot in the arm to its initial subscriber base. Disney and Verizon have announced a new partnership that will see millions offered a free year of the upcoming streaming service. Under the new deal, any existing or new Verizon customers with an unlimited plan will be entitled to 12 months of Disney+ for free. This also extends to Fios broadband or 5G home wireless internet customers.

The offer goes into effect once Disney+ launches on November 12. Considering that Verizon has more than 100 million customers, of which, a reported 50 million are unlimited customers, this could serve as a massive boost to Disney's play in the streaming game right out of the gate. Those who take Verizon up on the offer will get the service free for a year. After that point, the price will shift to the standard $6.99 per month rate, unless the customer opts to cancel instead. Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney's Direct-to-Consumer and International, had this to say in a statement.

"The launch of Disney Plus kicks off a new era of streaming for The Walt Disney Company, bringing nearly a century's worth of content from our iconic studios to consumers directly. We're excited to share this moment with Verizon and bring Disney Plus to the millions of customers across its award-winning wireless network."

Disney+ is looking to compete in an increasingly crowded streaming landscape that is currently dominated by Netflix, which boasts more than 150 million subscribers worldwide. What Disney has going for it is an attractive price, at $6.99 a month or $69.99 annually, as well as content. This will be the home of Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, Disney Animation, Disney Live-Action, The Simpsons, National Geographic and more. Verizon chief Hans Vestberg had this to say about the deal in a statement.

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"Giving Verizon customers an unprecedented offer and access to Disney Plus on the platform of their choice is yet another example of our commitment to provide the best premium content available through key partnerships on behalf of our customers."

One important detail concerns those who have already pre-ordered a subscription to Disney+, who also happen to have Verizon service. Those in such a position are still eligible for the Verizon deal and the free year can be added to the pre-existing subscription order. For those who took advantage of some of Disney's previous offers, which already heavily discounted the service, this could be the icing on the cake.

This Verizon deal adds yet another advantage in Disney's corner, when compared to other up-and-coming competitors such as Apple TV+, HBO Max and NBC's Peacock. Disney+, at launch, will carry thousands of titles from the studio's past and present, with a wide array of classic movies and TV shows, as well as new originals, such as The Mandalorian and the live-action Lady and the Tramp remake, amongst many others. This news was previously reported by Vareity.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott