We’ve known for quite some time that Disney was planning its own dedicated streaming service. Now we finally know what to call it. Speaking at The Walt Disney Company Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that the name of the service launching in 2019 will be called Disney+
It’s not necessarily all that shocking a name. Disney’s current streaming service product for ESPN is called ESPN+ as well so it all fits into the existing branding., but it’s nice to be able to refer to the streaming platform as something other than “streaming platform.”
In addition to confirming the name of the service, Bob Iger also gave a bit of detail about some of the material that would be on it. Most excitingly, he announced an as yet unrevealed show that will be on the service. In addition to the Star Wars series that had been announced from Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian, there will be a second series that will be a prequel to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story which will star Diego Luna.
Bob Iger also confirmed that various films and TV shows that we already knew were coming, such as a series starring Tom Hiddleston that will be all about Marvel’s Loki. He also confirmed the Christmas movie with Anna Kendrick called Noelle and the remake of Lady and the Tramp.
One nice addition to the streaming service that will come as a result of the impending merger with Fox is the fact that National Geographic content will be part of the service.
If you’re a hardcore Disney fan, there will also be a new series dedicated to Walt Disney Imagineering, the crew of people that create the amazing experiences that we all have when we visit Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
While it’s unclear exactly when the Disney+ service will launch, it’s expected to hit sometime in late 2019. Bob Iger has promised more detail on the service as part of an investor event in April, which obviously means nothing significant will be happening before April.
While there’s so much that we know now about Disney+, there are still a lot of details that we’re going to need before we have a real handle on it. The first question is, of course, what the rest of the content will look like. Disney certainly has a library of material unlike any other studio, especially with the addition of Fox. But just how much of it will we actually have access to when Disney+ launches? Will every Disney animated feature film from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Ralph Breaks the Internet be available? Every Pixar film and short? All three complete phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Disney has numerous post-theatrical deals already in place, including with the Starz cable channel and Netflix. Some material won’t be available at the launch of Disney+ because those services will have the rights to it.
Bob Iger has previously said that the price point of Disney+ will likely be something below where Netflix currently is, though the main reason for that will be that Disney knows the content library at launch won’t be at the levels of services like that. Bob Iger said later in the Walt Disney Company Investor Call that pricing would specifically be discussed at the April meeting.
More to come…