Everything We Know About Disney Plus
Disney's new $6.99/monthly streaming service—which will stream movies and originals from Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and its own studio—launches November 12, 2019.
Disney is calling Disney Plus the future of the company. Disney Plus will be the streaming home for almost everything the entertainment giant creates. It'll be the exclusive home for streaming the content such as Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar movies.
Avengers: Endgame, for example, will be available to stream on December 11 exclusively on Disney Plus. It’s intended to compete against other services such as Netflix, Apple TV, and HBO Now. It will contain a vast library of Disney's and Fox's legacy content as well as new, exclusive TV shows, movies, documentaries, and shorts.
In addition to housing a vast library of already created content, Disney is hard at work ramping up a slate of original content (shows and movies) based on those properties, as well as others.
Thanks to Disney for giving me a media pass to attend D23 Expo. As always, all opinions are my own. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at Amazon.com.
Disney Plus Announcements at D23 Expo
On Friday, August 23, at the D23 Expo, Disney+ shared a slew of announcements during its panel in Hall D23. Attendees were treated to trailers, announcements, and greetings by talent for the upcoming Disney Plus streaming service.
Disney revealed its plans for eight new original series for the streaming service:
- a “Lizzie McGuire” reboot with Hilary Duff reviving the role she originated as a teen where she is now in her 30s living in NYC;
- an “unscripted” short-form series called “Muppets Now”
- “Moon Knight,” “Ms. Marvel,” and “She-Hulk, ”three new live-action Marvel shows based on the characters of the same names;
- a Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi series with Ewan McGregor reprising his role. Production begins in early 2020. The show will be set around the same time as Solo: A Star Wars Story, when Obi-Wan Kenobi is hiding on Tatooine and protecting young Luke Skywalker from afar.
We finally got the trailer drop for the live-action Star Wars spinoff “The Mandalorian,” as well as the original Marvel shows that will be on the service over the next few years, such as “BlackWidow,” “Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” “Loki,” “WandaVision,” and What If.”
“The Clone Wars” is getting a new season, exclusively on Disney Plus.
We’re really excited for “The Mandalorian,” a big-budget series, starring Pedro Pascal, about a bounty-hunting gunfighter that takes place 5 years after the events in The Return of the Jedi. Disney is investing heavily in the series—”The Mandalorian” won't premiere until November 12, executive producer Jon Favreau is already writing its second season.
A Star Wars prequel series based on Rogue One will star Diego Luna (Cassian Andor) and Alan Tudyk (K-2SO) from the original film.
What Features Will Disney Plus Include?
Disney Plus is going to be eliminating pricing tiers, giving all subscribers access to four simultaneous streams, as well as 4K and HDR high-quality video. This feature alone will make my house and pocketbook happy. We don’t pay for it currently, but Netflix charges $16/month extra for 4K video in the premium tier.
Disney Plus will also allow you to create seven user profiles, so different members of the household can customize and personalize their profiles to their liking. While Disney Plus is the company's answer to Netflix, it won't be releasing episodes of its original series all at once as its rival does, new episodes will drop weekly.
Disney Plus will also offer downloads for offline viewing.
Franchise Content Available on Disney Plus
Just like “The Mandalorian,” you can expect to see similar use of canon, source material, and close-knit storylines in its original Marvel shows for Disney Plus.
Disney Plus is Competitively Priced
We’ve been hearing rumors for months that the price of Disney Plus would be $6.99/month. The D23 Expo panel confirmation from DisneyPlus is indeed that low. For $6.99/month, you get all the content mentioned above and more.
$6.99/month is about half the price of HBO Now and still a few dollars less than the monthly Netflix rate, which starts at $9.99/month.
If you’re an uber Disney fan, you get an even better rate to start if you join the “Founders Circle!” They announced at D23Expo that you could sign up at the expo and save $23/year on a 3-year subscription commitment, making your rate only $3.92/month—that's $23/year discount for a total of $104.97. D23 Gold Members will also be getting an email soon with that same offer.
In Canada, Disney Plus will be priced at $8.99 CAD/ month, or $89.99 CAD/year. In the Netherlands, it'll be €6.99/month, or €69.99/year; in Australia, it'll be priced at AUS$8.99/month, or AUS$89.99/year; and New Zealand subscribers will pay NZ$9.99/month, or NZ$99.99/year.
Is the Disney Plus Streaming Service Worth the Price?
It depends. If you have young kids or you love Disney, Marvel, or Star Wars, this will be the only place to get that streaming content. That was an easy decision for me. I signed up and didn’t bat an eyelash, but I figured I would be doing this months ago when they first announced it.
Disney's other streaming services—Hulu and ESPN Plus—will run on the same platform (this is a “plus” from an ease of use standpoint since you can sign in with the same password/login and stored credit card information). However, Disney intended for all three to be individual subscriptions, but when Disney Plus launches in the U.S. in November, it plans to offer a bundle for $13/month featuring Disney Plus/Hulu/ESPN Plus.
What Content Streams on Which Streaming Services? Which Streaming Service is Right for You?
Disney Plus will be the home for the majority of mass-audience content as well as its family-friendly content. If you’re looking for anything with a rating for audiences PG-13 and below, this is where you’ll expect to find it. You can expect to find content from properties including Disney, Marvel, Pixar, National Geographic, and LucasFilm (Star Wars content). Because of the recent Fox merger, it will also include 30 seasons of “The Simpsons.” Side note: I feel really old saying 30 seasons of “The Simpsons” since I remember when the show started and my parents wouldn’t let us watch it.
If you are looking for more adult-related material, you’ll be heading to Hulu. Hulu will be streamlining a new Marvel animated series for adults and it is where you’ll find adult Fox content such as Deadpool. Hulu will also continue to stream its own original series (like “Handmaid’s Tale” and “Castle Rock”) and content from three of the major broadcast networks as it does now. I should one that Disney now as full control over the direction of Hulu. Previously, Hulu was co-owned by four parent companies, but Disney bought the other three out so they would have creative/content flexibility, but it also gives them the ability to offer the bundle pricing we’re seeing come November.
If I have to tell you what ESPN Plus will be focused on, well, I fear you’re reading the wrong blog. While I don’t cover sports per se, I cover entertainment, and ESPN definitely falls in that genre.
When Does Disney Plus Launch?
Disney Plus will launch November 12, 2019, in the U.S., Canada, and the Netherlands. Australia and New Zealand will see a launch one week later on November 19.
If you think that timing is arbitrary, you’re marketing skills aren’t up to snuff. It’s strategic, for sure. Disney fully plans to piggyback on theatre and in-home releases for Q4 and the holiday season. The big-budget releases this season include Frozen 2 (November 22) and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (December 20).
And let’s talk competitor trends. Historically, the last couple of months and early into Q1 is when its largest rival, Netflix, has seen some of its biggest viewership trends. Bird Box, reported to be watched on more than 80 million Netflix accounts to date, was a December 21 release. Bright, fantasy crime starring Will Smith, was the company's most-viewed film prior to Bird Box, was dropped December 13.
How Can I Stream Disney Plus
Disney has indicated it will offer streaming device support to a vast selection of smartphones, tablets, computers, connected TVs, and streaming media boxes. Disney specifically called out support for Roku TVs and Playstation 4 at its April investor presentation. We have yet to hear confirmation of support for streaming through Amazon devices, but earlier this month, Disney added it had global distribution agreements with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Roku, and Sony, to include the makers of:
- Android-based phones and TVs, as well as Chromecast streamers
- Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad
- PlayStation 4
- Roku boxes, sticks, and TVs
- Xbox One
How Can I Join Disney Plus for a Special Price?
Want to join Disney+ now? D23 members can sign up for their membership and get a discount NOW if you sign up for a 3-year subscription.
The regular price of Disney+ will be $6.99/month; the price to join the Disney Plus Founders Circle is $140.97 for 3 years total or $3.92/month.
Ready for a great hack? This is open to ALL D23 members INCLUDING those with the complimentary D23 membership. This deal will only be active until September 2nd. Note: it may take up to 36 hours to get your D23 Membership login, so sign up for your membership ASAP!
What are you most excited for with Disney Plus?