Disney+ streaming service to launch in November, intensifying competition in streaming arena

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-13 04:28:33|Editor: Liu
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LOS ANGELES, April 12 (Xinhua) -- The Walt Disney Company announced on Thursday that its streaming service Disney+ will launch in November in the United States, intensifying competition in the streaming arena with digital powerhouses like Netflix and Amazon.

The company revealed Disney+ key details including the launch date, pricing and so on at Disney's 2019 Investor Day in Burbank in western U.S. state of California.

According to Disney, the upcoming Disney+ service will launch in the U.S. market on November 12, 2019, at 6.99 U.S. dollars a month. The service will offer fans of all ages a new way to experience the unparalleled content from the company's iconic entertainment brands, including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, and will be available on 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," Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, told investors during the event.

"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," he said.

"We're extremely excited about our growing portfolio of direct-to-consumer offerings. As we demonstrated today, with Disney+ we will deliver extraordinary entertainment in innovative ways to audiences around the world," said Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney's Direct-to-Consumer and International business segment.

Disney+ will launch 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, said the company in a statement.

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 and The Musical: The Series among others.

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.

By finalizing the 71.3-billion-dollar acquisition of 21st Century Fox last month, Disney is poised to strengthen its position in the U.S. media and entertainment industry. It's widely considered as a major step by Disney to move toward a streaming service that has become rather mainstream and away from old-fashioned cable TV, competing with Netflix, Amazon, Apple and other tech companies that have broken into the entertainment industry.

Disney+'s 6.99 dollars monthly fee is only nearly half of Netflix's standard 12.99 dollars plan. The pricing is also lower than Amazon Prime Video's 8.99 dollars basic plan per month.

Disney executives expect Disney+ to reach 60 million to 90 million subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024. But its biggest rival, the streaming giant Netflix, reported in January that it had over 139 million paid memberships in over 190 countries, including over 60 million in the United States.

Apple announced last month that Apple TV Plus video subscription service will launch in more than 100 countries this fall.

Disney said 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, according to the company.