August 26, 2019
What to expect from Disney+ streaming service: Yes, it'll include Marvel and Star Wars
Disney+'s strategy to compete against Netflix: It all comes down to one word—branding.
Many consumers have complained that Netflix has so much content, it's hard to navigate. But in a sneak peek at the interface for the new Disney+ streaming service, which debuts Nov. 12, Disney is relying on five distinct categories.
Consumers will see the newest offerings highlighted in five categories: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic.
"We're content quality over content quantity," says Michael Paull, president of Disney Streaming Services, in an interview at the Disney D23 Fan Expo. "It's all about our brands."
Disney acquired the massive 20th Century Fox library and studio in 2019, but the Fox logo didn't make the cut for the branding. Instead, Disney chose National Geographic, which was owned by Fox, because he says it has a huge brand appeal for consumers.
The streaming wars will be played out in force in the fall, as Disney looks to take on industry leader Netflix and Apple joins the party as well with its TV+ service, which is also expected to launch in November.
Waiting in the wings: Warner Media's HBO Max, an add-on for HBO, is launching in the spring, along with a new service from NBC Universal.
Disney surprised many observers by pricing Disney+ low, at $6.99 monthly; and it is offering a bundle with Disney's ESPN+ and Hulu for $12.99 a month, a savings of $5 monthly. Netflix's most popular plan is $12.99 monthly.
A handful of original titles has been announced for Disney+, including a new Star Wars live-action series called "The Mandalorian," a series based on the "High School Musical" movie called "High School Musical the Musical the Musical" and a live-action version of the Disney classic "The Lady and the Tramp." But Paull said the lion's share of content will come from the Disney-owned libraries.
At D23, Disney announced that its entire library of animated classics and the entire Pixar library would be available for viewing on Disney+.
Like Netflix, the service will have a "suggested for you," section, offering movies and TV shows it thinks you'd like to watch, based on your viewing history.
"Disney has deals to get the service on Roku and Apple TV but, as of now, doesn't currently have a deal for Amazon's Fire TV Stick," Paull said. Disney will have more devices online by Nov. 12 and noted that Amazon currently has a deal with Disney to run its ESPN+ service on Amazon's Prime TV.
Despite featuring no Fox branding on the service, Disney+ will have the complete library of Fox's The Simpsons available for streaming.
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