New Details Emerge About Disney's Streaming Service, Which Will Have Less (And Cost Less) Than Netflix

Disney is betting big on streaming. (Image: Disney)

Disney is banking hard on becoming a competitor in the streaming service game, with Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger calling it the company’s “biggest priority” in 2019. A new report shows how the tentatively titled “Disney Play” plans on doing just that. Mainly, by relying on its own movies.

In a large report from Variety, industry leaders went into their ongoing plans to compete with streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu (which Disney may gain a majority stake in if its acquisition of Fox assets goes through). Iger shared more information on what he is referring to as “Disney Play”, the streaming service set to launch in 2019 that will feature Disney, Marvel and Star Wars movies and shows.

The CEO gave details about what the planned streaming service will do — or, more specifically, what it won’t do. This includes things we already knew, such as how it won’t be pulling existing Disney and Fox-owned movies and shows from Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services to put onto their own platform. That means shows such as The Gifted, Marvel’s Runaways or ABC America’s Once Upon a Time won’t be heading over to Disney Play, at least not for the time being.

Variety says Disney’s service won’t cost as much as Netflix (which runs from $US8 ($11) to $US14 ($19) per month), because they won’t have nearly as much original content.

Disney is counting on the exclusivity factor of selected Marvel, “Star Wars,” Pixar and Disney-branded properties to drive interest in the service. Iger has acknowledged that the Disney Play price tag will be less than Netflix’s $8-$14 monthly fee — a reflection of the lighter content load. “We have the luxury of programming this product with programs from those brands or derived from those brands, which obviously creates a demand and gives us the ability to not necessarily be in the volume game, but to be in the quality game,” Iger said.

We’re still learning more about what’s in development, but here’s what we have so far. In addition to some streaming-exclusive films such as Sword in the Stone, there are reportedly five original TV series being planned for the service, including live-action shows for both Star Wars and Marvel.

“We’re going to walk before we run,” Iger told analysts, according to Variety.

Since there won’t be a bunch of original content, the company is betting big on Disney Play’s access to its slate of current and upcoming movies. Films such as Captain Marvel, The Lion King live-action adaptation and Frozen 2 will all come exclusively to Disney Play — along with other films in the Disney catalogue, after they’re pulled from Netflix.

Disney is also reportedly working on a way to restore Star Wars broadcast rights, following a 2016 deal with Turner that gave it TV and online broadcast rights through 2024.

With or without Star Wars flicks, will Disney’s movies and small swath of original stuff be enough to justify people spending money on another streaming service? According to the report, investors aren’t sure, and it could wind up costing Disney if it doesn’t work. One analyst said Disney Play would need 40 million subscribers paying $US6 ($8) per month just to break even.


Comments

    I'm confused, within the same article you've said that they aren't pulling stuff from other streaming services, then claim that they are pulling stuff from other streaming services?

      When the existing license expires, I'd imagine that they would then take over whatever they own and play it on their own service. Just wish that all these online services would join and make everything available, instead of randomly putting up strange collections (translated) and taking down good ones.

        Just wish that all these online services would join and make everything available

        Never gonna happen as long as these publishers all want their own control and cut of the revenue.

          Yeah. See: Video games, who are ahead of the digital distribution curve compared to video.

          Steam centralized the market, made it popular, then as publishers saw a third of their revenue going toward something they could be doing themselves, we got uPlay, Origin, battle.net, bethesda.net and more taking on their own shops for a bigger bite of the cherry.

            Which sadly means more shitty apps on our PCs (or consoles or TVs) that duplicate functionality. Some will get the UI right, some won't. And overall our costs increase.

            Give me the GoG approach any day. Yeah we've got our own app, but if you don't want to use it that's fine you don't have to.

              The only one that really still bugs me is Origin. I don't know what they have set up behind the scenes, but it takes so long to load and the interface is always laggy. If they fixed that up, it would be fine.

      Following that link, there are quotes saying basically that Marvel movies may or may not be left in Netflix, but Netflix Marvel TV series will definitely remain there.

        I suppose because Netflix was involved in their creation, rather than just publishing them?

          One would imagine that there'll be contracts in place that allow Netflix to distribute them for years to come (at least if Netflix was smart there would be). I wouldn't be surprised if *everything* Disney related slowly migrates to their new service as contracts expire and just aren't renewed.

            Have you seen our Aus Netflix ATM? The only live action marvel movie left on there is Guardians of the Galaxy 2. There's pretty much nothing left of Disney on there. Even animated, I'm pretty sure it's just Moana and a few others.

              We're talking the TV shows not the movies.

                My mistake, that was just in reference to Pylgrim saying that Marvel movies may or may not be left there, I just wanted to add that I think they're already gone.

    Too much fragmentation going on in the streaming space with every man and his dog wanting to start up their own service. I've already got 2 and I'm not going to pay for any more. Hopefully some of the newer entrants will fail spectacularly and we'll see some of this content get consolidated into fewer services.

      Yeah. Most people aren't going to subscribe to more than 2 services. They'll stick with Netflix + Stan or Netflix + Foxtel (Sports) and that's it.

      The rest will continue to be torrented.

      Family passes spread the pain about. If you do it all by yourself (and I can see why people do that) its going to add up, but by taking advantage of the extra accounts from the slightly higher setups, 2 or 3 people can each cover the cost of a single service, and share the login details between themselves. Suddenly you have 2 or 3 services for the price of one.

      Either me or my sister will cover this one, it has too much content (or will do) that we both enjoy, but that'll be two services I'm covering and that's my limit. As you and @chinesefood say, most people aren't going to pay for more than that.

        I use the family pass sytem for Netflix, definitely, and it's mostly to share the login with my mother, father, and brother who all live in different places. Somewhat related: I suspect that if they weren't able to use my accounts, though, none of them would be customers.

          Definitely. I use Stan for only a handful of shows, and wouldn't get the value out of it, but as effectively a freebie, its an easy call to have it set up. If I wasn't using my sisters Netflix though, I would have that instead of Stan, so I'd be paying $10 to $15 a month anyway.

          Instead of paying that and wasting the Family logins though, I pay that to get something else, and add to what we can show. Builds up a library much cheaper.

          What someone needs to do is find a way to stream sports live for a reasonable price. And not something on a sport by sport basis either, that's the same money problem we're talking here.

          Look at a sports streaming site. If someone could find a way to legally do that for $15-$20 a month, they'd be a billionaire. Add in archived games, you just get richer and richer from there.

          Foxtel has a good sports pack. It covers a lot of sports, along with the various talk shows around them, and (I think) access to archived games. But its expensive compared to all the other streaming services we use. $30 on top of a basic Foxtel Now package, so $45 or so, versus $15 for Netflix.

            The worst thing with sports is the high price compared to the low rewatchability (at least for me). If I have a movie service and there's nothing new on I'll probably pick an old favourite to rewatch. But I'm never going to rewatch a game of cricket or football. And to be honest, if the game is already over and I know the result I'm not likely to watch the game even if I haven't seen it.

            To me that makes the cost/value proposition of sports services really bad at the moment.

              Its a different market, and would work differently but its definitely a market. Today, the main reason to have Foxtel is for the sports. Everything else is copied with other streaming services like Netflix, but with sports it stands alone. And its a high price to pay to access it.

              You're right, most games wouldn't be ones you'd rewatch, but its a value add anyway for those games you do. I'd love to go back and watch the Bulldogs v Essendon game in 2000 for example, where the Dogs ruined their perfect season in a classic.

              Mostly though, its the one area streaming hasn't quite brought into the 20th century. Its something you could take global if you could find a way.

                The interesting thing to me is a couple years back there was talk about Youtube bidding on the rights to some Aussie sport. I think the Big Bash and NRL was bandied about. Obviously it was either a rumour or they were just outbid. But I think it'd be interesting to see what would happen if you had a streaming company get rights for something, just to start the ball rolling.

          I've been thinking of doing the same with a friend. Basically splitting the costs since we can both use it. I'm just wondering if there is any sort of metering built into the apps to be able to say "User A watched 47 hours this month, User B watched 2 hours". I don't mind splitting costs if we're both using it, but I think if either of us is only using it for a couple hours a month then the cost split needs reworking :P

            For Netflix at least you can bring up the viewing history. I assume you'd need to cross-reference the hours yourself, but it'll let you look at each profile's history when you log in to the account.

    The more companies dilute the streaming services. They more likely you are to drive people back to pirating. Don't get me wrong, Competition is good. But it gets to a point where its too much and streaming loses its value over pirating. Netflix was and is popular because it was cheap, easier than pirating and had lots of content (in the US at least). The more these companies create their own services and pull their products from other platforms the more they will drive people to stop paying for stuff.

    Companies like these always cry about piracy hurting their business. Yet the always make decisions that piss off potential and current customers, therefore, driving them to piracy. Its like someone leaving their house unlocked, Getting robbed, And then continuing to leave their house unlocked while still complaining about getting robbed.

      Unfortunately true. When you're paying 10 to 15 a month for your movies and tv shows, plus maybe another 10 for spotify? That's a great deal.

      But when it becomes 15+10+10+10 plus Spotify + Google music + Itunes?

      You're now into the nearly a hundred bucks area. I know I'm being a little extreme there, but I literally know at least three people paying around 80 a month so far for streaming services (add in a game streaming service for one of them btw which just doesn't work well atm). It's getting pricey AF.

        80 a month isn't too bad when you factor in the non existent social life to make those services worthwhile.

          I'd generally disagree when you consider most services actually share a large portion of their content.

            If we are talking about multiple music streaming services, there is no need to have more than 1.

              Maybe. Some streaming services, like video services, have licenses with certain companies for their catalogues. That makes people go to different places for their music.

        Yeah, I'm at: Crunchyroll, Animelab, Amazone Prime (bit of an unusual case, though, that one), Netflix, Stan, Spotify, YouTube Red/Google Music/whateverthefucktheycallitforthenext6months. Pretty sure that comes at about a hundred bucks a month.

        I'm doing reasonably OK at the moment, pay-wise, but if I were getting paid now what I was at ten years ago, I'd definitely be pirating some if not most of that content.

          I guess it depends how you consume your media. If you're the sort of person who used to rent say one movie a week at blockbuster then it's gonna suck. Similarly, if you're the sort of person who wants to *own* your content and used to buy a DVD or CD then you're not gonna like it. But if you're the sort of person who just likes to consume lots of media without having to own it then $100 a month isn't that bad.

          To put it in context, DVD rentals were up to $7 a night (although there were specials) so it wasn't difficult to rack up $20 a week in movie rentals at Blockbuster. That's getting close to $100 a month without even adding in music or sports.

      The problem is it's only competition when they're selling the same thing. At the moment (and probably moreso in the future) they'll all be their own little silos of content. So there will be literally no competition. :(

      Don't really agree with your house unlocked analogy. It's more like a Harvey Norman complaining that people are using Kogan because they charge too much.

        Don't really agree with your house unlocked analogy. It's more like a Harvey Norman complaining that people are using Kogan because they charge too much.

        My analogy was more highlighting the fact these companies make decisions that lead to piracy, Then proceed to complain about piracy but still do the things that make people want to pirate.

          I get that, I just didn't think it was a great analogy. To me that'd be more like if the GOG guys were complaining about piracy. It's a better analogy for DRM (or not using DRM) than competition in the market.

    Release Avengers 5 on this thing a month early under a premium 6 month subscription.

    This service won't be launched in australia for years I imagine, the amount of content licensed by Foxtel would make it entirely pointless here.

      Pretty much. It neutered netflix here. Itll castrate Disney.

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