Disney is finally making its mark on the digital streaming market in 2019. Existing streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, have undoubtedly been proven to be extremely successful in the digital entertainment industry today. At a time when streaming services are in high customer demand, Disney has recently announced that they are launching their own exclusive streaming service called Disney+. Disney+ will be joining the likes of the other Disney owned streaming services such as ESPN+. Disney CEO Bob Iger is calling this soon to be released service the company’s “biggest priority” for 2019.
With Netflix leading the the enterprise of digital streaming right now, Disney is looking to be their strongest competitor. Disney+ is expected to launch a variety of original series based on the Star Wars, Marvel, High School Musical, and Monsters, Inc. franchises, as well as fan favorite films and TV shows from their widespread collection. Iger recently went on record to say that “the goal is to rely on exclusivity and convenience, and to help consumers ‘break through the clutter’ of streaming services.” Iger intends to use the same tech platform to streamline consumer use for ESPN+, Disney+, and Hulu. Subscribers will most likely be able to use the same user name, password and credit card account to access all Disney streamed networks. Iger also brought up the possibility of discounting bundling packages of two or three of the services, but specified that they will all be available for individual purchase as well.
The launch of a Disney streaming service entering the market will certainly provide some competition, and therefore have an impact on the other popular streaming networks. Netflix will most likely be the most affected since they currently stream a variety of content that includes Disney productions. However, by the end of 2019, Disney will be terminating its streaming contract with Netflix so that when their own service is launched, Disney productions will be more limited in terms of who is streaming them.
Although Disney will be severing its ties with Netflix, they will be taking 60% control of Hulu in the very near future. So not only will viewers be able to watch Disney content on the Disney streaming service, but they will also be able to view some Disney productions on Hulu as well. However, Disney+ will have more of the company’s family-friendly content, whereas Hulu will stream Disney’s more adult themed material such as Marvel.
Iger made it clear that “building a robust direct-to-consumer business is our top priority and we continue to invest in exceptional content and innovative technology to drive our success in this space.” There is not yet a firm release date for this service, or an approximate cost for the monthly subscription, however, more information is likely be released in April.
MayoSeitz will continue to monitor the launch and growth of this platform, along with all of the other streaming services, to determine which best fit the advertising needs of our clients. It continues to be an ever-changing landscape, but exciting time to reach audiences on new platforms.