It's Disney's turn to launch a streaming service | Eurasia Diary -

22 July, Monday

It's Disney's turn to launch a streaming service

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Can an almost century-old company learn from its glorious past and create itself a brave new future? Coming to a small screen near you… eventually.

Disney has finally announced its long-anticipated streaming service, but it won’t be available until November in North America - and in some markets, it will take much longer.

That’s due to several factors, but mostly because Disney is still in the process of clawing back the rights to its content, sold to other streaming platforms before it had platform aspirations of its own.

It will take as long as four years before all of the deals have expired, the firm said. The delay could hobble Disney’s chances to succeed in the streaming market, described by chief executive Bob Iger as his “biggest priority”.

When it does eventually launch, however, Disney+ will be a streaming juggernaut. The service will bundle together some of the firm’s major franchises, including the work of Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic and Star Wars, for a monthly subscription price of $6.99, or $69.99 a year.

And because the firm has had its checkbook out lately - spending $70bn on 20th Century Fox - Disney+ will also incorporate content from recently acquired companies, such as the first 30 seasons of The Simpsons.

More widely, Disney also owns sports network ESPN, which now has more than 2 million paid digital subscribers, and India’s Hotstar - which enjoys 300m subscribers in a market predicted to continue to grow extremely quickly. Disney is also a majority owner in Hulu, the US streaming service that has plans to expand globally soon, the firm said.


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