Thursday at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2017 Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference Bob Iger announced more information about the upcoming Disney streaming service slated to arrive in 2019. Starting most notably with the news that Marvel and Star Wars movies will be joining the fray in Disney’s service. This means that if you want really anything from Disney’s umbrella you’ll be required to either buy a BluRay or get this service. Disney also narrowed down the start date of the service to late 2019.
“[The Disney App] will have the entire output of the studio, animation, live action at Disney, including Pixar, Star Wars and all the Marvel films,” Iger said. This means that we will be looking at hundreds of Disney movies, and thousands of TV shows right out of the gate. Iger also mentioned that the app will also include around four to five original TV series, and three to four TV movies made specifically for the platform.
Disney has still be reluctant to announce pricing for the app, and I’ve been notably bearish about Disney’s offering thus far. Adding Marvel and Star Wars is important to have alongside the other family-friendly offerings Disney provides. The success or failure of this product is going to mostly hinge on the pricing, and usability of the app. Netflix’s 4K streaming option is $12/month and HBO Now is $15/month. I believe that Disney can charge these top-tier streaming prices, but if Disney decided to release the app at say $20 or $25/month it may lead to issues with gaining subscribers. App building also seems like a given, but with Disney’s more family-focused films and TV shows it’s going to be imperative that they create an app that parents feel comfortable letting their kids control, and it must strike an ease of use that can be difficult to master.
More competition is always good, and Disney has the assets to be successful. At this point in time it’s going to be a waiting game until more news is announced. The content is set, it’s a known commodity, now we have to see if the unknowns work out in Disney’s favor.