Launching of the long anticipated streaming service was ultimately announced by Disney nut it would start off only in November and for North America only initially. It would take much longer for the services to be launched in other markets.
The time lag is because of many factors but the primary among them is the process of getting back the rights of its content by Disney which it had earlier sold to other streaming platforms – at a time when it did not have any plans to start its own streaming platform.
Disney said that it would not be before another four years that the deals would finally expire. According to analysts, Disney’s chances of success in the streaming market could be damaged by these delays. This was described as his “biggest priority” by the company’s chief executive Bob Iger.
However, Disney+ will be a streaming juggernaut when it actually launched. A number of the major franchise of the company – the work of Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic and Star Wars, would be bundled together after launch against a monthly subscription of $6.99, or $69.99 annually.
Disney+ will also make use of some of the content from companies that it has recently acquired such as the first 30 seasons of The Simpsons. Disney recently acquired 20th Century Fox for $70bn.
Elsewhere, Disney also is the owners of the sports network channels ESPN that currently has a more than 2 million paid digital subscribers, as well as Hotstar in India with a subscriber number of 300 million in a market that is anticipated to grow significantly very fast. The company also said that it has plans to expand globally the US streaming service Hulu in which it holds a majority stake.
The streaming market is getting increasingly crowded but is also very lucrative at the same time and Disney immediately finds a place of prominence there because the company owns a large number of big moves. It would also a separate identity for Disney+.
Companies are also investing heavily to increase and capture market share. For example, this year, $15bn was spent on new content by Netflix. Apple TV+ service, the streaming service from Apple was launched last month with help of Oprah and friends assisting the company in the creation of unique and exclusive content.
But the chequered history of Disney could in fact be a hindrance to the company’s aims of achieving success in the streaming industry. Last year, the company generated revenues of more than $7bn from the sale of 900m movie tickets. That core business remains critical for the company and therefore it would potentially refrain from airing its big name content on Disney+ till such time that the content runs out their life in the cinema and home entertainment sales. Instead, subscribers of Disney+ would be offered additional content or mini-series based on characters in the new films, or some of the behind the scenes footage.
(Adapted from BBC.com)