At The Walt Disney Company’s Investor Day, Disney’s comprehensive direct-to-consumer strategy for the next few years was unveiled, including presentations on Hulu, Hotstar, ESPN+ and, most importantly, insight into the for-long-announced, upcoming Disney+ service, which will launch on 12th November 2019 in the United States, at roughly KES 700 a month.
Disney+ will offer fans unparalleled content from the company’s diverse entertainment brands which encompass Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, through a service that will be available on both connected TV and mobile devices.
“Disney+ marks a bold step forward in an exciting new era for our company—one in which consumers will have a direct connection to the incredible array of creative content that is The Walt Disney Company’s hallmark. We are confident that the combination of our unrivaled storytelling, beloved brands, iconic franchises, and cutting-edge technology will make Disney+ a standout in the marketplace, and deliver significant value for consumers and shareholders alike,” Disney CEO and Chairman, Robert Iger said.
Early last year, Disney had already begun public announcements that all of its original content would be reigned in under a streaming platform that would amalgamate its extensive collection, stripping other streaming platforms of popular titles such as films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars franchise, as well as animations from its stable. This of course resulted in enhanced responses from platforms such as Netflix, Showmax and Amazon Prime, which have consistently sought to bolster their own offerings with more diverse and original content. Last month, Apple itself announced its own streaming service, Apple+.
Several creative executives from across the worlds of Disney—Jennifer Lee, chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios; Pete Docter, chief creative officer, Pixar Animation Studios; Kathleen Kennedy, president, Lucasfilm; Kevin Feige, president, Marvel Studios; Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide; Sean Bailey, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Productions; Courteney Monroe, president, National Geographic Global Television Networks; and Jon Favreau, executive producer and writer, The Mandalorian—offered a glimpse into Disney+’s impressive and extensive content slate.
Disney+ will launch in November with a robust library of theatrical and television content, and in its first year will release more than 25 original series and 10 original films, documentaries and specials by some of the industry’s most prolific and creative storytellers. New original titles for Disney+ announced today and which sound particularly interesting include:
From Marvel Studios:
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier – a live-action series with Anthony Mackie returning as Falcon and Sebastian Stan reprising his role as Winter Soldier
WandaVision – a live-action series with Elizabeth Olsen returning as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany reprising his role as The Vision
Marvel’s What If…?, the first animated series from Marvel Studios and takes inspiration from the comic books of the same name. Each episode will explore a pivotal moment from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and turn it on its head, leading the audience into uncharted territory.
From Walt Disney Animation Studios:
Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2, a documentary series showing the hard work and imagination that go into making one of the most highly anticipated Walt Disney Animation Studios features of all time
From National Geographic:
The World According to Jeff Goldblum – a docu series where Goldblum pulls back the curtain on a seemingly familiar object to reveal a world of astonishing connections, fascinating science and a whole lot of big ideas
Magic of the Animal Kingdom– a documentary series which takes viewers behind the scenes with the highly respected animal-care experts, veterinarians and biologists at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot’s SeaBase aquarium
Scripted originals previously announced for Disney+ include The Mandalorian, the world’s first scripted live-action Star Wars series; the exclusive new season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars; High School Musical: The Musical: The Series; and the Marvel Studios’ series Loki starring Tom Hiddleston.
The recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox is already paying off, as additionally, Disney+ announced that all 30 seasons of The Simpsons will be available on the service on day one. In the service’s first year, audiences will also have access to family-friendly Fox titles like The Sound of Music, The Princess Bride and Malcolm in the Middle as part of an impressive collection of more than 7,500 television episodes and 500 films including blockbuster hits from 2019 and beyond.
The Disney+ service will be available on a wide range of mobile and connected devices, including gaming consoles, streaming media players and smart TVs, and will adjust to the best possible high-definition viewing experience based on a subscriber’s available bandwidth, with support for up to 4K HDR video playback. An unprecedented amount of content will also be available to fans for offline viewing.
Following its U.S debut, Disney+ will rapidly expand globally, with plans to be in nearly all major regions of the world within the next two years.