DISNEY HAS ANNOUNCES the arrival of its much-trailed streaming service, adding to the already crowded market for on-demand tellyboxness.
Disney+ will launch in November this year and will take full advantage of the entire Disney programme library, including Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic - not forgetting the Wonderful World of Disney itself.
Disney also owns US broadcast network ABC, and we could see some elements of that in the service as it grows too and from launch, we'll see the fruits of its ownership of 20th Century Fox, in the form of thirty seasons worth of The Simpsons.
The launch of Disney+ will be staggered around the world, mostly because much of the content is already licenced in specific territories already and so it'll have to wait for those deals to expire - a process which the company says could take up to four years. Disney has already begun the process by removing its content from Netflix.
US pricing has been announced at $6.99/m or $69.99/y - a modest amount, though it's worth remembering that this is another fiver on top of your existing subscriptions for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV, Apple TV, Britbox, Sky Q… and the list goes on. Disney already has a kid-focused streaming service called Disney Life, which is likely to close as Disney+ becomes available in each territory.
The streaming market is getting very crowded (we haven't even talked about free services like BBC iPlayer, All4 and Crackle) but Disney's roster is likely to make for something that will instantly catapult it into being a full-on rival for the big names.
Disney isn't daft, so don't expect Star Wars IX to appear on the platform for quite some time - Disney will be letting its big titles do the circuit of cinema - sell through - network TV before they arrive on Disney+
But that doesn't mean there'll be nothing new - Disney+ will be the home of a number of straight-to-stream movies and TV series, including the first Star Wars live action TV series, The Mandalorian.
Being this late to the market is far from ideal for Disney. Not only does it face massive set-up costs, but it openly admits that it could be four to five years before it turns a profit. Meanwhile, that lovely content library won't be available after it's removed from its existing broadcasters and streaming services - that alone will increase the set-up fees for Disney+ by millions, demonstrating just how important streaming is becoming for content providers. μ
Tabs to more Ctrl and less Win. Such Fn.
Either that or it's a really intense holiday