Hours before its official release time, the Disney+ Android app appeared on Google Play Store, sending American film buffs into an excited frenzy.
The iconic entertainment provider joins a host of other big names in the streaming service market – from Apple, whose Apple TV+ launched at the start of November, to the BBC and ITV’s joint Britbox venture, to Amazon Prime to, of course, the leader of the pack: Netflix.
However, British audiences will have to wait a little longer to enjoy their favourite Disney classics and new originals on demand since, as of today, Disney+ is only available in the US and the Netherlands.
But Disney’s chairman and CEO Robert Inger, has insisted it will be worth the wait.
“We are confident that the combination of our unrivalled 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,” he said back in April.
From launch day to prices, as well as what’s going to be on the service, here’s everything you need to know about Disney+.
What is Disney+?
Disney+, or Disney Plus, is the beloved studio’s answer to Netflix, a comprehensive streaming platform featuring all the shows and films the company has produced since the 1930s.
It features previous shows and films, as well as new content exclusive only to Disney+.
The service has five hubs focusing on the major franchises owned by Disney, such as Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic.
Disney highlights include all the animated classics, from Snow White to Moana. They also include live-action favourites like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Flubber and High School Musical.
Meanwhile, viewers with little appetite for nostalgia can feast their eyes on original shows, from Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian to The World According to Jeff Goldblum.
Disney+ works the same way as other streaming services: available via an app on Smart TVs and mobile devices, as well as via browsers.
Users can download content to watch offline, too.
What is the Disney+ release date in the UK?
Disney+ is set to launch in every major region within the next two years. The Netherlands was the first to get access to the service via a trial beginning in September, but the Dutch were joined by customers in the US and Canada today. New Zealand and Australia will gain access next week.
British audiences will have to twiddle their thumbs for a few more months, however, with the platform hitting UK screens on March 31, 2020.
You can sign up at DisneyPlus.com so you’re ready in 2020 for when the service drops in the UK.
How much will the new streaming service cost?
In the US, Disney+ costs $6.99 per month, or $69.99 per year. It’s likely it will cost around the same in the UK, so £6.99 per month or £69.99 per year. If you sign up for a three-year subscription, Disney is knocking down the price to around $4 a month, but you also have to be registered as a D23 Official Disney Fan Club.
This puts Disney+ just below Netflix’s pricing, which starts at £7.99 per month.
What movies and shows will be on Disney+?
There will be more than 7,500 episodes and 500 films in the first year that Disney+ is online, with more films and TV shows added over time.
The Simpsons is going to make its streaming debut on the platform, to the delight of fans of the popular cartoon.
The Originals have been created based on series in the Disney canon, with a particular focus on Marvel and Star Wars. The Mandalorian marks TV’s first Star Wars series and centres on a lone gunfighter on a journey through the galaxy.
To hear more about The Mandalorian, listen to this week’s episode of the Standard‘s Women Tech Charge podcast featuring an interview with the lead compositor at Industrial Light & Magic, Charmaine Chan, who worked on the visual effects for the new show.
Two shows currently in the works are an original series focusing on Marvel’s Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, and a prequel series to Star Wars’ Rogue One, about the character Cassian Andor, played by Diego Luna.
At the August Disney+ Showcase in California, the company also revealed details about new shows including High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, with performances from the new cast – no Troy Bolton in sight, unfortunately.
What will happen to Disney movies on Netflix?
By the end of 2019, there’s likely to be hardly any Disney-created content left on Netflix. The entertainment company already cancelled its Marvel Originals shows and declined to add any of its 2019 releases to Netflix, choosing to save them all for Disney+.
If you were upset about the end of The Punisher, starring Jon Bernthal, and Jessica Jones, with Krysten Ritter, the executive of Disney+, Kevin Mayer, said these shows could be revived on the new service, but that won’t be until at least 2020 thanks to the contract terms around the shows.
Will Disney+ be a threat to Netflix? Netflix seems pretty confident it won’t, given its major dominance around the world.
Yet, with the addition of an Apple streaming service in the mix, people may start to feel a strong case of streaming fatigue.
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