In 2017, Disney made an announcement that immediately sent shock waves through the entertainment industry. Well OK, they made a couple of those types of announcements in 2017, but the particular announcement we’ll explore here was the one about a new Disney Streaming service, which we now know will be called “Disney Play.”.
When Will We See the New Disney Streaming Service?
Disney has said the new service will launch in 2019; about a year after a sister service focusing on ESPN content is set to launch. It is currently unclear as to when in 2019 it will launch.
How Much Will it Cost?
We don’t know the exact amount that Disney Play will cost, but widely-circulated rumors have the service costing ‘less than Netflix,” which currently charges $10.99/month for their standard streaming plan.
What Will Be On the New Disney Streaming Service?
It will contain Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars content (no word on Fox content yet). Content will consist of movies and television shows, new and old, as well as original content exclusively produced for the streaming platform. According to an ABC executive, Disney expects the new service to contain about 7,000 to 8,000 episodes from the vast Disney/ABC television library. It is unclear if ‘Disney Movies’ means specifically Disney or if Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures films (or the newly-acquire Fox) will be included on the service, although we do know that the service will not include any R-rated content. One would think that they would try to include the entire Disney-owned library, but we just don’t know right now.
In terms of Marvel content, Disney has announced that Ant Man & the Wasp is their last Marvel movie that will be available on Netflix, which has been the exclusive home for newly-released Marvel films. Beginning with Captain Marvel, all Marvel movies will be exclusive to Disney Play.
We also know that Disney is going to have a bit of a battle on their hands, at least for the next few years, in gaining the ability to stream their Star Wars movie library. Those rights currently belong to Turner Broadcasting and their new parent AT&T. In 2016, Disney sold the rights to the Star Wars library to Turner in 2016 for a reported $275 million which gives the broadcaster exclusive rights to air them on their TBS and TNT and online channels. These rights currently stand until 2024. Rumors have been circulating that Disney would like to buy those rights back, but there has been no official word on that as of yet. Disney also has a Star Wars streaming deal with Netflix until the end of 2018, which we have already been told won’t be renewed.
What Kind Of Original Content Will the New Disney Streaming Service Have?
We have already heard of some of the original content heading to the new Disney Service. Current plans have new a High School Musical show, a Monsters Inc show, as well as new Marvel and Star Wars programming set for exclusive release on the service.
Disney has confirmed a number of new titles that will be exclusive to Disney Play. These include:
- Reboots: Lady and the Tramp (live action), The Sword in the Stone (live action), Three Men and a Baby
- Original/New: Togo, Noelle, Magic Camp, Timmy Failure, The Paper Magician, Stargirl, Don Quixote
Disney has said that we can expect 3-4 new feature films and 3-4 new regular series exclusive to the service.
What About Netflix?
Disney intends to pull its movie library from its current streaming partner, Netflix prior to launch of the new service.
What About Hulu?
It is also worth mentioning here that we don’t currently know how the new Disney Streaming Service will impact Hulu, which Disney part-owns and will gain even more ownership once that Fox deal is made official. It is tough to imagine that Disney will want to own two competing services, so something will likely have to give. We have seen indications that R-rated Disney-owned content may live on Hulu since it won’t be suitable for the new service, so Hulu may be seeing a re-positioning in the future as the more mature Disney streaming service. A lot of questions still to be answered there.
That is everything we know so far. I will be updating this post often as new details about the service are released. Be sure to check back often for the latest news.